The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot is still expected to air next year, but it has hit a major setback. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Collins is no longer the showrunner of the dramatic revival. A new showrunner has already been named, and insiders say the show's premiere will be set back just a bit as well.
Sources said that Collins wanted to go in a different direction than the Fresh Prince revival was taking, and unfortunately, he was not able to reconcile with other producers. The show is produced by Will Smith and is based on a viral video by filmmaker Morgan Cooper, who created a dramatic take on the story as a short film project. T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson will now take over as showrunners. The two worked directly under Collins up until this point, so the transition should be relatively seamless.
The Fresh Prince revival has been in the works for a while, but it was finally nailed down by Peacock after an intense bidding war against other streaming services. Peacock gave the show a two-season order and installed an all-star creative team, including Collins whose credits include The Wire and Sons of Anarchy.
Even without Collins, the show is a who's-who of TV heavy hitters. Smith will share producer credits with Quincy Jones, Benny Medina and the creators of the original series Andy and Susan Borowitz. Brady and Newsom have generally worked as a writing duo, with credits including The Chi and The 100, among others.
Casting on the show has reportedly not begun yet. However, fans can get a very clear idea of the direction the show will be taking by looking at Cooper's video, which took over social media in March of 2019. It adds dramatic weight that feels surprisingly at home in this sitcom story, between Will's poverty, his disjointed family life and his reliance on laughter as a defense mechanism.
Peacock bid against HBO Max and Netflix primarily for the chance to make the show. So far, executives from the streamer have declined to comment on the reports of Collins' departure. Insiders said that the work Collins has done on the scripts up until this point will still be used in the production going forward.
The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is streaming now on HBO Max. The series ran for six seasons on NBC in the early 1990s, and was based on the persona Smith developed in his hip hop lyrics. It also borrowed some aspects from Smith's real life, at least in the beginning. Stay tuned for a released date for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air revival when it becomes available.