According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cooper and Smith have been working on this project for over a year. Back in 2019 (which seems like eons ago), Cooper directed the short film Bel-Air. In the short film, Cooper re-imagined the groundbreaking show for today’s media and cultural climate. Smith discovered Cooper’s viral fan trailer after it received millions of views and critical acclaim, and interviewed Cooper for his podcast shortly thereafter.
Cooper and Smith have been vigorously recruiting production staff for Bel-Air since the interview. Original show creators Susan and Andy Borowitz, as well as producers Benny Medina and octogenarian badass Quincy Jones also joined.
No word if any original Fresh Prince cast members or cast from Bel-Air will be joining the project. But Smith reunited the remaining cast of Fresh Prince (RIP James Avery) on his Snapchat show in April, so good vibes between the OG cast and one of the reboot’s producers could bode well for that possibility.
Who Wants It?
THR also reports Netflix, HBO Max and Peacock are potential landing spots for Bel-Air. Smith envisions as a “one-hour drama [where] you can do eight-episode arcs” on these platforms. Each of the studios makes sense for a landing spot: HBO Max currently holds streaming rights for the original sitcom. NBCUniversal owns Peacock and broadcast Fresh Prince from 1990 to 1996. And Netflix hasn’t met a popular franchise it couldn’t reboot. Although in the latter’s case, whether it could reboot famous shows meant more to Netflix than whether it should.
Why Do We Care?
We at That Hashtag Show were initially stunned by this announcement. Fresh Prince was such a groundbreaking and entertaining show, the thought of a redux seemed insulting to its legacy.
But after watching Cooper’s brilliant Bel-Air, it seems possible he, Smith and company can put a modern spin on a classic. But please, let’s keep some aspects of the original sacred.