The 52-year-old actor dropped the teaser trailer for the upcoming The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special coming to HBO Max on Friday (November 13) on his YouTube channel.
“30 years later, we’re bringing the Banks family back together! Join Will and Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff, for a funny and heartfelt night full of music and dancing in honor of the show that ran for six seasons and 148 episodes. Streaming November 19 on @HBO Max,” the caption reads.
As previously teased, the reunion will also include a squashing of a decades-old feud with another star of the show, and they will have an “emotional reunion and a candid conversation.”
Will Smith was reunited with his co-stars of the sitcom, as they gathered to celebrate the anniversary by filming a reunion special.
Will posted a picture in the old Banks mansion alongside Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv No.2) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), as well as the recurring DJ Jazzy Jeff, to his Instagram.
He captioned: “Today is exactly 30 YEARS since The @FreshPrince of Bel-Air debuted! So we’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon to @HBOmax! RIP James. #FreshPrince30th.”
A second picture revealed Will burying the hatchet with the original Aunt Viv, Janet Hubert. They are pictured seated together on camera for the first time in 27 years. She played Aunt Viv in the first three seasons before leaving in 1993 amid a long-standing feud with Smith. Their on-set issues caused her early exit from the show, and she documented her broken relationship with Smith in her 2009 book Perfection Is Not a Sitcom Mom.
Will Smith is “hyped” to reveal a dramatic reboot of Fresh Prince of Bel Air has found a home. The upcoming series has been picked up by NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, for two seasons.
Smith, 51, made the announcement on his YouTube channel alongside the brains of the reboot, Morgan Cooper, and showrunner Chris Collins. “We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season-order from a pitch,” Smith excitedly told fans as he chatted to Collins and Cooper over video.
Smith, a three-decade showbusiness veteran, made the point to fans that the show getting picked up for two seasons was a really big deal. “I’ve been in this business for 30 years and that does not happen. They ordered two full seasons of Bel-Air based on the quality of the pitch and the work that you guys have done,” he said.
“So I want to say congratulations. I am hyped.” The inspiration for the dramatic retelling came from a trailer Cooper created re-imagining the rags-to-riches story as a drama.
The original 90s comedy series followed Smith’s character – the Fresh Prince – after his mother insisted he live with his rich aunt and uncle in affluent Bel Air, California to get him off the rough streets of West Philadelphia.
Cooper released the trailer of his updated version of Fresh Prince last year which got Smith’s attention and they came together to turn it into a serialised one-hour drama. Now, 18 months later it has been picked up by one of the biggest streaming services in the world, Peacock.
“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,” Peacock said in a statement. The show’s six-year run ended in 1996, but it has attracted a new younger audience thanks to reruns and Netflix, which is streaming all 148 episodes.
It was one of the first mainstream TV shows featuring an almost entirely black cast — and it had a big cultural impact. Viewers who had grown tired of seeing negative racial stereotypes on telly and film warmed to the show’s refreshingly different take on the black community. Among the cast of wacky characters, The Fresh Prince features a Tom Jones-obsessed glee singer, a high-flying lawyer and a sarcastic British butler — as well as the cool and charismatic lead Will.
Will Smith is set to join his The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air co-stars for a one-off reunion special to celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary. The special is set to record on September 10 and is scheduled to arrive on the HBO Max streaming service around Thanksgiving, which this year falls on November 26.
Hollywood star Smith will be joined by co-stars Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Alfonso Ribeiro, as well as DJ Jazzy Jeff. The show starred Smith as a fictionalised version of himself – a streetwise teenager who is sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion after getting into a fight in his hometown of Philadelphia. It ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1996. The cast reunited in April for Smith’s Snapchat series Will From Home, while earlier this month it was announced a drama reboot of the series is in the works.
The reboot is based on Morgan Cooper’s viral video Bel-air. This is not the first classic series HBO Max has announced a reunion for.
The long-awaited Friends reunion special has experienced multiple delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The one-off show had been due to launch with HBO Max in May, before Hollywood production was halted. A new launch date has not been set.
Will Smith and Kevin Hart have signed on to star in a remake of Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Deadline reports that the two comedians will also produce the pic with their Hartbeat Productions and Westbrook Studios. Aeysha Carr will write the script.
The original movie, which premiered in 1987, centered on a mismatched duo forced to become bunk mates and traveling partners in a desperate attempt to get home to loved ones for Thanksgiving after their flights are canceled. Steve Martin and John Candy starred in the original movie from John Hughes.