Alfonso Ribeiro is giving one of the first updates to the dramatic Bel Air reboot, saying that it will be much more serious than the ’90s original, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The series from Morgan Cooper, which has a two-season order at NBCU’s Peacock.
“I like to call it a reimagining,” he said, according to Digital Spy. “We sometimes throw a lot of things into one word, one concept. A reboot would be taking the actual show and characters and bringing it back.”
Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the original series, also said that the new series is completely different than the one he was a part of.
“This is a totally different show. It’s not even based on the show,” he said. “It’s based on the theme song. It’s a completely different thing. It’s drama, it’s not comedy.”
He said he wasn’t involved with the project, but he did say that he appreciates that the project is more than just a reboot.
“Let’s take a concept and turn it into a different show. I’m like, roll the dice,” he said. “Go ahead and try it and see what happens.”
The fan-made trailer the series is based on was created by Cooper in 2019. The trailer recreated key moments from the show’s opening and dramatized them, creating a story that felt more relevant to the 2020s. Social media quickly made the trailer viral, getting the attention of Will Smith himself. After viewing the trailer, Smith invited Cooper to his YouTube series in 2019 and talked about the prospects of creating a series around his idea.
“As funny as the episodes are, there was a whole other layer that you couldn’t do. In a one-hour drama, you could do eight-episode arcs,” said Smith in the video. “The dramatic version of these ideas means you could use existing storylines but it’s not going to seem like you’re redoing an episode because the storyline is going to be brand new from the dramatic perspective.”
“…What’s exciting to me is the new media of it all,” he continued. “…I’m excited and inspired about that new way humans are interacting and ideas are getting created.”
Bel Air was announced as being in development in 2020 and is currently being shopped to streaming services.