New information has been released about what many of us who grew up on Black ’90s sitcoms consider the reboot to end all reboots.
Ever since it was announced last year that our beloved series, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is getting what showrunners describe as a “dramatic retelling” of the story of Will Smith’s character (of the same name) and his West Philadelphia rags to Bel-Air riches experience, our imaginations have run wild wondering just what that spin on the show would look like.
It was announced earlier this year that the lead role in Bel-Air, which will stream on Peacock, will be an actor whose real-life last name is ironically Banks, Jabari Banks, and on Tuesday, the rest of the main cast was announced via Peacock’s Instagram account.
The new series will feature a fresh batch of up and coming young Black actors, with Adrian Holmes as the family patriarch Phillip Banks, Cassandra Freeman as his wife Vivian, Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks, Coco Jonesas Hilary, Akira Akbar as Ashley, Jimmy Akingbola as Black America’s favorite butler Geoffrey, Jordan L. Jones as Will’s best friend Jazz, and Simone Joy Jones as Lisa, who was Will’s girlfriend in the original series.
Here’s the official description of the show as reported by Deadline:
“Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air, which has a two-season order, is a serialized one-hour dramatic take on the 1990-96 sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.”
Bel-Air—which is based on director Morgan Cooper’s viral fan-fic trailer—is produced by Universal Television and Westbrook Studios, which is owned by the star of the original show and his wife and fellow actor, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. T.J. Brad and Rasheed Newson are the executive producers and co-showrunners for the series—which has already been cleared for two seasons—and Cooper will serve as co-writer and another addition to the list of executive producers which includes Quincy Jones and, of course, the original Fresh Prince himself.
True Fresh Prince fans can’t wait to see how this series turns out.
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