HBO Max Orders A ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reunion Special
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be celebrating its 30th anniversary with a brand-new reunion special that will stream on HBO MAX this Fall. The beloved 90s sitcom that made Will Smith a household name will commence the filming of a new episode by early September with a release date of Thanksgiving.
The much-anticipated episode will see the return of most of the original cast, Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Daphne Maxwell Reid, to name a few, along with new special guests and music performances. This comes only a few months after an earlier, heartfelt cast reunion that aired on Snapchat, where Smith and company reminisced over shared experiences with their beloved co-star, the late James Avery, during an episode of his show Will From Home.
The new episode is set to be produced by Smith’s own company Westbrook Media and is expected to pay homage to Avery’s character, Uncle Phil. While this special may serve as a closing chapter in the lives of its other characters, it will not be the final installment in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s mythos. Smith, as well as several of the original show’s creators and producers, will also be joining Kansas City filmmaker and newcomer, Morgan Cooper, in a dramatic retelling of the comedy sitcom. Cooper had directed and written a fan-made trailer dubbed Bel-Air that went viral on Youtube last year, catching the attention of Smith himself, who later went on to say that he could not ignore the potential of this newer, darker vision.
The trailer stays true to the original telling of a troubled young teen’s exodus from his hometown and into an affluent neighborhood; however, this time around extra emphasis will be put on the impoverished, violent conditions that drove him away. Given the contents of the trailer and the fact that Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy and The Wire) serves as showrunner, the hour-long film may even add a dimension of political commentary on the criminal justice system, as a reflection of modern times.
Smith, Collins and Cooper have already begun the filming of Bel-Air, much to the delight of old and new fans, who can expect to stream it on HBO Max and Netflix.