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‘Didn’t Expect This’: ‘Bel-Air’ Trailer Has Fans Changing Their Tunes Following Previous Backlash

The Will Smith-backed “Bel-Air” re-imagining dropped a full-length trailer that appears to have piqued the interest of fans who were previously skeptical of what the update on the classic had to offer.

Smith shared a first look at the grittier reimagining of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on his Instagram page on Monday, Jan. 10, and viewers were able to get a good look at the darker take on the hit ’90s sitcom, including its star Jabari Banks, and the Banks family: Adrian Holmes as Philip Banks, Cassandra Freeman as Vivian “Aunt Viv” Banks, Olly Sholotan, Coco Jones and Akira Akbar as Carlton, Hilary and Ashley Banks, respectively. The show also stars Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey, Jordan L. Jones as Will’s BFF Jazz and Simone Joy Jones as Lisa. 

Will Smith shared a “Bel-Air” trailer that has fans anticipating the series’ premiere. Photo Credit: Peacock Network/YouTube video screenshot

It’s revealed in the trailer that the main reason for Will’s move to swanky Bel-Air with his well-off relatives is still due to a basketball court fight, like the original, but the stakes are clearly higher as explained by Geoffrey: “A scrap on the ball court got nasty and now some bad man from Philly, he want to deal with you.”

Jabari Banks as Will Smith in “Bel-Air” Photo Credit: @willsmith/Instagram

Flashes of Will’s troubled Philadelphia past are interwoven with scenes of him attempting to adjust to life in the lap of luxury and it quickly becomes clear that the show will be traveling down a vastly different route to show viewers how he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.

In the comments of Smith’s post, series star Jabari Banks expressed his gratitude for the show and all involved, writing, “The HIGHEST honor to be apart of this legacy 👑.”

A shorter, more conceptual teaser trailer for the series was released in November and was met with skepticism from fans, as was the full cast announcement in September, however, after getting a more well-rounded feel for the dramatic series, viewers are looking forward to learning more about this version of Will and the Banks family.

“Nah why this look way more intriguing now”

“Took a dark turn and I love it!!! [flexed muscle emoji][flexed muscle emoji]”

“Didn’t expect this when the discussion was out about a reboot.. looks good”

“James Avery would have been so amazed by this. Very epic. [fire emoji] @willsmith @cooperfilms [applause emoji][applause emoji][applause emoji][applause emoji][crown emoji][crown emoji]”

As previously reported, the “dramatic analogue” “Bel-Air” has been in development since 2020 following the viral success of Morgan Cooper’s 2019 fan trailer.

This version of the classic will follow “Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air” and seeks to “dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions, and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.” Cooper will serve as director, co-writer and executive producer.

“Bel-Air” will premiere on Peacock on Sunday, Feb. 13.


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