Will Smith has been a mainstay in Hollywood since the early ’90s when his hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air first come on the airwaves.
The series, which followed a fictionalized version of Smith as he tried to adjust to life with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel-Air, was a smash hit throughout the decade.
Now, some 23 years after the credits rolled on the final episode of the series, Smith is in talks to produce a reboot of the classic series. The reboot is part of Smith’s recent push to revitalize his global brand.
The Westbrook holding company, which Smith and wife Jada started to coordinate their brand efforts, will develop the show.
There’s no timetable yet on when we could expect to see new episodes of the classic series. Westbrook CEO Kosaku Yada stated that “It has definitely been a creative rebirth for Will. He comes to the office and loves to see the social content people are working on. It’s the closest thing to performing on stage because of the immediate feedback.”
According to sources close to Smith, he still draws considerable royalty checks from the Fresh Prince brand. The show’s reruns are still in syndication in over 190 territories, so it makes sense that he’d have an interest in reviving the classic brand. After all, he’s in the midst of a complete overhaul of his brand.
Interestingly, this news goes against prior interviews with Smith and fellow actor Karyn Parsons, wherein both actors have stated that they felt a reboot of the series was unlikely. In 2013, when James Avery (who portrayed Uncle Phil on the show) passed away, Parsons was quite clear on how the cast and crew felt.
“For us, the loss of James Avery changed the whole picture,” Parsons said during an interview in 2013. “I don’t think it would have happened anyway but with James gone, it is not possible.” This echoed the sentiment that Smith had at the time. In interviews in that era, when asked for the chances of a Fresh Prince reboot, he stated it would happen “when Hell freezes over.”
We suppose it’s a bit chilly down under today, then, because Smith and Westbrook are moving full-speed ahead with the project.