Peacock is giving fans a first look at Bel-Air, its flipped-turned upside-down reboot of Will Smith's beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air set to premiere in 2022. Hinting at the more serious tone of the reboot, Smith can be heard in the teaser trailer somberly narrating the lyrics of the original '90s series theme song recounting his move from West Philadelphia to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air.
As Smith speaks, viewers get their first extended look at Jabari Banks as Will, whose troubled journey to the high-class society of Bel-Air after getting in trouble back home will make up the reboot. This is Banks' acting debut, as the West Philadelphia native was cast in the role after graduating from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2020, even getting the casting call from Smith himself.
The project was inspired by writer and director Morgan Cooper's viral fan trailer Bel-Air, which debuted a four-minute spec teaser in 2019 that caught the attention of Smith. Cooper, who now serves as director, co-writer and executive producer on the project, got a two-season order right off the bat, which Smith previously said was unheard of in Hollywood. "I've been in this business for 30 years and that does not happen," the Oscar-nominated actor explained. "They ordered two full seasons of Bel-Air based on the quality of the pitch and the work that you guys have done."
The original cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunited in November 2020 for an HBO Max reunion, bringing back together Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz) and Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey) as they looked back on the original show's run and honored the late James Avery, who played Uncle Phil.
During the special, Smith looked back on what made Fresh Prince such an iconic show even three decades after its initial debut. "The casting. It's one of those things," he noted. "You cannot buy or fake chemistry. When people vibe, when people are in sync, in tune and in harmony, you can't fake that. And when you have it, it creates magic."