Bosses of ‘Bel-Air’, Jabari Banks Talk Reimagining ‘Fresh Prince’

Black history Happy monthWhen Morgan Cooper release fictional trailer for Bel-Air in March 2019 he had no idea that he was re-imagining the beloved sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will accumulate more than seven million views so faror Will Smith will contact his seal of approval.

“Up to that point, I was like, ‘Hey man, I hope I don’t stop and they will sue me,’” said Cooper, who serves as director, writer and executive producer on the show. , told TVLine .

Instead of a lawsuit, however, Cooper received an invitation from Smith less than 24 hours after the video was cut to discuss his creative vision for a potential series. “I remember going to Calabasas the next day at Westbrook… Will joined FaceTime because he was in Miami for work. [Bad Boys for Life] and he said, ‘Yo! I love what you did! ‘ Just so excited about the vision,” he shared.

Bel-Air, will premiere its first three episodes on Peacock Sunday, February 13, remixing the half-hour sitcom into an hour-long family drama about a child from West Philadelphia navigating to a world far from anything he had ever known. With the story centered around Will, the show’s creators were looking for someone who could match Smith’s charisma, swagger, and acting abilities – talents that Jabari Banks seems to be in the end.

“What makes him the perfect choice is his acting ability, undeniable charisma, sense of humor and undeniable sense of humour,” co-showrunner TJ Brady explain.

Olly Sholotan and Jabari Bank in Bel-AirCooper adds, “You’re looking for someone with deep emotions. They must have acting skills, and Jabari, he has eyes. When you look him in the eye, he can create these really compelling dramatic moments and you need that when you’re wearing those shoes… So you’re really looking for a unicorn. and we found him in the young star growing brighter day by day. “

“Will was a great part of this whole experience as a mentor because he taught me so much,” he shares. “The biggest things are just relying on my instincts and trusting who I am and why I’m here, and really relying on my upbringing and what I know. That’s what he did in the original Fresh Prince. He’s not up there trying to be someone else. He’s just authenticating himself. And to bring that realism to my characters is also what I’m doing. ”

While the show takes cues from the OG series, including Will’s backstory, the creators behind the Peacock TV series have no intention of recreating what happened before that. “The original is very iconic. It will always be an inspiration. We never wanted to be a plagiarist,” Brady noted. “Literally just taking whatever ideas we can get from the original and asking ourselves, ‘What would that look like in reality here in 2022?'”

Jabari Banks and Olly Sholotan in Bel-AirBel-Air’s The hour-long format also allows the show to go where the ’90s sitcoms don’t, delving into uncomfortable conversations about race without a veil of comforting humor or a neat ending. . Will and Carlton’s divergent origins make up the central conflict of the series, sparking heated conversations about issues like voting rights and the use of the n-word.

“We had this great opportunity, especially since the very beginning, Will and Carlton are from such different worlds that their perspectives can be very different,” said the showrunner co-showrunner. Rasheed Newson. “And in a drama, because we don’t have to deal with everything in half an hour, we can really dig into it and we can also leave it unresolved. At the end of that conversation, no one really changed their mind, but we heard both. “

“It’s definitely electric,” Banks said of the show’s cousins’ motivations. “There is a lot of animosity between Will and Carlton. It’s going to be super interesting as people watch the game develop… Carlton is the king of this circle he’s created and Will throws a wrench into the system he’s using. ”

Fans can also expect to see subtle nods to the OG series throughout the first 10 episodes. “There were some surprising moments that were really fun for viewers and fans of the original series,” Cooper teased. “You can never restart The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and so we wanted to create something that really reimagined these characters through a modern lens while paying homage to what they did. We’re grateful in those fun little ways when it’s organic through our storytelling. “

https://tvline.com/2022/02/12/bel-air-fresh-prince-reboot-will-smith-jabari-banks-peacock/ Bosses of ‘Bel-Air’, Jabari Banks Talk Reimagining ‘Fresh Prince’

Aila Slisco

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