This is a story all about how the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air got flip-turned upside-down into a drama. We’re not sure who asked for a new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but at least they had the foresight to not try and catch lightning in a bottle again — there is only one Will Smith, and you can’t mimic his comedy and get away with it.
This whole story began on YouTube of all places, where director Morgan Cooper posted a trailer for a show called Bel-Air that — you guessed it — reimagined the sitcom as a drama. He even cast it with local actors. And after that clip went viral, and Hollywood titans watched it for themselves, we learned Bel-Air was becoming a real show. Peacock even picked it up for two seasons.
And so, a fresh and modern Fresh Prince reboot arrives on our screens, right after the Super Bowl 2022 live stream of all things.
The Bel-Air trailer makes it clear that this isn’t the Fresh Prince of your childhood. While you get a moment of Will and Jazz looking up at the Banks family estate just like in the original show’s credits, the use of Nas’ “Made You look” emphasizes things are different here.
2022’s Hillary Banks is driven and confident. The new Carlton seems much more like Chuck Bass than Alfonso Ribeiro’s take. And this new Uncle Phil? He’s got no smiles and is eager to get Will on the straight and narrow.
And this Will? He’s not the instantly popular man about town that the old Will was.
Want to watch the Bel-Air trailer that spawned it all? We’ve got that, too.
Bel-Air release date and episodes schedule
Bel-Air will debut on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 13, 2022). And unlike previous new shows that are released in tandem with the Super Bowl (which is also on Peacock) you’ll likely be able to watch Bel-Air before the big game — as Peacock’s new shows typically release at 3 a.m.
Three episodes will drop at the same time on the 13th, while the rest will arrive weekly (likely on the following Sundays). We will update this story once we learn more about the schedule.
Bel-Air is led by newcomer Jabari Banks as Will Smith, which is a tad bit hilarious when you think about it, considering how Will moves in with the Banks family. Adrian Holmes (previous credits include Elysium and Skyscraper) plays Uncle Phil. Olly Sholotan, who plays Carlton, is an actor/musician who appeared in and contributed to the soundtrack of the 2020 movie Run Hide Fight.
The full cast, is as follows:
- Jabari Banks as Will Smith
- Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks
- Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks
- Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks
- Coco Jones as Hilary Banks
- Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks
- Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey
- Jordan L. Jones as Jazz
- Simone Joy Jones as Lisa
- Karrueche Tran as Ivy
- Duane Martin as Steven Lewis
- Joe Holt as Fred Wilkes
- April Parker Jones as Viola ‘Vy’ Smith
- SteVonté Hart as Tray Melbert
- Scottie Thompson as Angela
- Charlie Hall as Tyler Laramy