Will Smith announces ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reboot star

Will Smith told Jabari Banks he will play Will on "Bel-Air." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Aug. 31 (UPI) — Will Smith announced the new star of the Peacock remake of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on Tuesday. Smith shared a video of himself telling actor Jabari Banks he got the role of Will in “Bel-Air.”

Banks will play Will, a Philadelphia, Pa., teen sent to live with his wealthy aunt, uncle and cousins in Bel-Air, Calif. Banks comes from Philadelphia and graduated from Philadelphia’s University for the Arts in 2020.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996. It was based on Smith’s rap persona, The Fresh Prince.

The NBC incarnation was a half hour comedy. In September, Peacock ordered the Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins series “Bel-Air,” an hour-long drama.

Peacock gave “Bel-Air” a two season order up front. Smith’s Westbrook Studios also produces.

Bel-Air takes place in modern day Bel-Air. It will film in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Other characters to cast surrounding Banks would include Uncle Phil, Aunt Vivian, butler Geoffrey and cousins Carlton, Ashley and Hilary.

The idea for a dramatic reboot began when Cooper uploaded a four-minute YouTube video he made. Smith saw it and connected Cooper to Collins to produce the show.


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