Now, this is a story all about how Will Smith is reportedly revisiting his 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' roots and working on a reboot of the 1990-96 NBC series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Westbrook Inc., a new media company founded by Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, is developing a “spinoff” of the sitcom, which still pays syndication and streaming royalties to its star. The Reporter offered no further details about the project.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air launched Smith’s career as an actor, having already gained fame as one half of Grammy-winning rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince in the late 1980s. The rapper played a fictional version of himself for six seasons on the NBC comedy series.
Rumors of a reboot have popped up in the two-plus decades since the show went off the air, as the cast still stays in touch and reunites on occasion. When E! asked Smith about a potential remake in 2016, he quickly shut down the possibility, saying, “I don’t think ever, like pretty close to when hell freezes over. Like we’re going to leave that one alone.”
But he was more coy in 2017 when UK talk-show host Graham Norton asked him about the possibility, to which Smith replied, “Man, I’d have to be Uncle Phil in that one!” — referencing the well-to-do relative (played by the late James Avery) who took in the teenage, fictionalized version of Smith on the sitcom.
No other details were given, but considering Westbrook is reportedly designed to expand the Smith family brand beyond film and TV into new media, tech and merch, a Fresh Prince spin-off could appear in any form – and, in fact, Will Smith has recently launched a Fresh Prince merch range too.