We are here for fresh takes on the classics!
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is slated for a reboot as a drama series, based on Morgan Cooper's YouTube trailer that went viral last year. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the reboot has been in the works for a while.
Will Smith, star of the original series, has signed on to help bring it to life. It all started a year ago when filmmaker Morgan Cooper released a YouTube trailer reimagining the '90s sitcom as a gritty drama series. The clip went viral, piquing interest among viewers. Word got back to Hollywood execs as well, and now original producers Smith, Benny Medina, and Quincy Jones have teamed up with Cooper to help shop the new series.
Cooper, who is a self-proclaimed super fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, said the idea initially came to him while he was driving, and he, too, was surprised by what he could manifest through sheer will and action.
"Exactly one year ago, we released BEL-AIR. So much has happened since that day - it's been a beautiful, crazy surreal blur..." He wrote on social media. "This all started with a crazy idea that I had while driving down 71 highway in my hometown [of] Kansas City, MO. It was pure inspiration."
The new series will keep the bare bones of the original series centered around the witty and hilarious West Philly kid who had to move to the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. It will dig deeper into the reason behind the move and explore the realities of what it looks like to be a Black man in America.
The new Bel-Air will be a collaboration between Smith's Westbrook Studios and Universal TV. Original executive producers Andy and Susan Borowitz will also return alongside Cooper, Smith, Medina, and Jones with Chris Collins (The Wire, Sons of Anarchy) serving as executive producer, showrunner, and writer. Cooper will stay on as co-EP, writer, and director. Peacock, Netflix and HBO Max are all said to be bidding for streaming rights to the original series.
"I'm so thankful for this new chapter of my career, and I'm so thankful for the amazing cast and crew who helped me bring BEL-AIR to life...My hope is that this project inspires people everywhere to pursue your artistic dreams with everything you have," Cooper said. "It's easy to think of every reason in the world why something won't work. Don't listen to that fear. Just GO! NOW! Life is too short to not take the leap. Never let fear stop you from bringing your art to life - Believe in yourself."
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---- Haha, well damn. Exactly one year ago, we released BEL-AIR. So much has happened since that day- it's been a beautiful, crazy surreal blur haha. I'm so thankful for this new chapter of my career, and I’m so thankful for the amazing cast and crew who helped me bring BEL-AIR to life. Now that a year has passed, I thought I'd share a few things about the process. . This all started with a crazy idea that I had while driving down 71 highway in my hometown Kansas City, MO. It was pure inspiration. The exact tone, the visualization, everything hit me all at once... I was sooo hyped. I screamed for like 2 minutes straight haha. Then I took a deep breath and said, "Okay, I'm gonna do this. I'm going to reinterpret the Fresh Prince through my lens and perspective. I've gotta do this, no matter what. No matter how crazy or out of reach this may seem to anyone, I'm going to do this." So I drove to a coffee shop that night and wrote the outline for the project. I pitched the idea to my producer Johnny Starke and my homies at Sun Squared Media, who believed in my vision. We locked arms on the project and a few months later, we were shooting BEL-AIR. The code name for the project was “B18” (if you look back on my old IG posts, we teased BEL-AIR for months as B18 before the release) We shot BEL-AIR in 8 days: 4 days in Kansas City (all of the Philly sequences and mansion interiors) and 4 days in LA (exteriors and a few additional interiors) I shot the entire project on Alexa Mini + Cooke S4 lenses. Fast forward 365 days and one billion views + across all platforms later, I'm left with 2 final thoughts: 1. My hope is that this project inspires people everywhere to pursue your artistic dreams with everything you have. It’s easy to think of every reason in the world why something won’t work. Don’t listen to that fear. Just GO! NOW! Life is too short to not take the leap. Never let fear stop you from bringing your art to life- Believe in yourself! . 2. You don’t have to be in LA or NY to make meaningful art. BEL-AIR was a KANSAS CITY project through and through, and I'm so proud of that. Create unapologetically and embrace where you’re from ALWAYS. . Peace and love, -mc
No word yet on when this will be available but we can’t wait! Congratulations Cooper!
Photo Courtesy of Sun Squared Media/YouTube