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'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' is being rebooted as a drama

The new drama will bring Will's story into modern times.
/ Source: TODAY

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is getting flipped and turned upside down in a new dramatic retelling that will follow Will from West Philadelphia to settling into life with Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv in Bel-Air.

While the 1990s NBC comedy was full of laughs, the new version will show fans what happened after Will got into trouble and his mom got scared, which he rapped about in the show's iconic theme song. The new show will be called "Bel-Air" and is based on a trailer made by fan Morgan Cooper that went viral last year.

Will Smith's Westbrook Studios and Universal TV are working with Cooper on the new project.

"BEL-AIR is a one-hour, dramatic retelling of the beloved '90s sitcom, 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' that leans into the original premise of Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air," Universal TV said in a statement to TODAY. "With a reimagined vision, BEL-AIR will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show."

The trailer is still available online and shows a new cast filling the shoes of Will, Carlton, Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil. There's plenty of drama, but none of Will's silly antics that made the comedy a hit.

Smith first saw the trailer in March 2019 and said the dramatic retelling was "brilliant." The next month, he released his own video in which he interviewed Cooper and some of the show's former writers.

"Bel-Air is a reimagining. It's a reinterpretation of this incredible story, and bringing it into modern day life in 2019," Cooper told Smith in the video.

Smith agreed that while the show was funny, there was an entirely different "layer" they weren't able to explore.

"In a one hour drama, you can do eight episode arcs," he said. "The dramatic version of these ideas means that you can use existing storylines, but it's not going to seem like you're redoing an episode, because the storyline is going to be be brand new from the dramatic perspective."

A network is not yet attached to the show, however the Hollywood Reporter said the series is being shopped to streaming networks, including Netflix, NBC's Peacock and HBO Max, among others.