Plans to remake, rework, or otherwise revive The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air have been messy for years. Will Smith, who once said the sitcom would come back “pretty close to when hell freezes over,” also posted support for an animated take on the show around the same time a trademark application was filed for the phrase “Fresh Princess.” As is the case with all things Smith-related, the harder you try to understand, the less you know.
Rather than dwell on official Fresh Prince happenings, it seems like a much better use of everyone’s time to look at what fans are creating—like this fantastic trailer for a darker, grittier version of the show by director and cinematographer Morgan Cooper.
Looking like the CW’s next big hit, Bel-Air leans into the far less funny aspects of Will’s Philadelphia exodus and arrival in the strange new world of Bel-Air. His backstory—when he, y’know, got “in one little fight” with “a couple of guys who were up to no good”—is fully fleshed out here into a bloody brawl and a gun charge. Uncle Phil is a hardass determined to give his troubled nephew discipline, Carlton gets in his face to yell “You’re not welcome, Will” only for his cousin’s voice to break while he tries to explain, “You didn’t do anything to earn this!” DJ Jazzy Jeff is a record collector who is not shown, even once, being whackily tossed out the front door.
In a piece about the trailer from Okayplayer, Cooper says he “always thought there was more to the story...behind the sitcom format,” which he channels not just with the more obvious drama of the trailer’s music, performances, and close-up camera shoots, but also wardrobe choices like Will’s Meek Mill shirts, used to evoke “reminders of the injustice the Philly rapper faced when he was imprisoned for violating his probation.”
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