The first trailer for the Will Smith-produced reboot of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is no laughing matter.
Simply titled “Bel-Air,” the Peacock series has darker and more dramatic undertones than the classic 1990s sitcom.
The new series features newcomer Jabari Banks in the role of the Will character, who is the South Philadelphia transplant moved by his mom to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in the ritzy Los Angeles Bel-Air neighborhood to keep him safe from the Philly streets.
The storyline was inspired by Morgan Cooper’s viral YouTube film short that reimagined the series with a fresh and raw approach, while delving more into Will’s complex journey.
Clips shown in the three-minute trailer depict a horrific incident that threatened to claim Will’s life. And although he seems to initially embrace his change of scenery, Will’s adjustment period is quite bumpy.
“My approach to the series started with a deep focus on tone and really being intentional with my creative choices,” Copper, who serves as director, co-writer and executive producer, said with Monday’s trailer rollout.
“I’m inspired by a lot of things as a director; it could be a random conversation, memories from my past, it could be art, music, fashion. Everything can be inspiration, and having a two-season order gives us the opportunity to go infinitely deeper narratively, visually, and aesthetically,” he added. “I think that with ‘Bel-Air,’ we have created something unique and honest.”
The series also stars Adrian Holmes as Uncle Phil, Cassandra Freeman as Will’s Aunt Vivian, and Coco Jones and Akira Akbar, respectively, as Will’s cousins Hilary and Ashley.
“Bel-Air” is set to launch its first three episodes on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13, on the new streaming platform.