Hollywood superstar Will Smith broke the news to newcomer Jabari Banks, and revealed he’d landed the leading role in the upcoming contemporary reimagining of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith has revealed the actor who will be taking on his iconic titular role in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot.
The 52-year-old broke the exciting news to newcomer Jabari Banks, who like Will, also hails from West Philadelphia, and the overwhelmed young actor shared his disbelief at landing the coveted role.
Will told Jabari the good news during a video call, which he later shared on YouTube, and the Oscar-nominated star surprised Jabari, who wasn’t expecting it.
The youngster looked stunned as Will appeared on the screen in front of him shouting “Yo!”, and he then revealed that Jabari was the new leading man in the upcoming contemporary re-imagining of the hit 1990s TV show, which will be called Bel-Air.
“From the deepest parts of my heart, I wanna say congratulations to you. You have the role of Will on Bel-Air,” Will began.
“You’ve got a fantastic road ahead of you. I’m looking forward to being an asset for you in this process as you build out your life and build out your career,” he added.
NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Jabari told the Hollywood superstar that he was “so ready” to take on the role in the reboot, which will be a lot darker and grittier than the original comedy series.
The new leading man also revealed to Will that he and his friends used to dress up like characters from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when they were in school.
The gig is the first big acting role for Jabari, who recently graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
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The reboot of the classic show was given the green light after a fan-made trailer for a bleaker Fresh Prince went viral in 2019.
The short film, made by Morgan Cooper, saw Will dealing with much grittier real-life situations, such as police brutality and racism, after being relocated from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
Men in Black star Will said he’d been sent the clip “by everybody”, and he and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith were keen to bring the re-imagining of the iconic TV series to life.
“Everybody sent it to me. It was outstanding. I had NEVER envisioned revisiting the Banks family in this way. We knew this was special, so we called @ryokanproductions and asked him to lead the team (he wrote on The Wire) and he said YES!
“Months of writing, developing and pitching… and now it’s happening,” he wrote on social media earlier this year, when it was confirmed that the reboot had been given the green light.
NBC via Getty Images)
NBC via Getty Images)
“Bel-Air got a TWO SEASON order, debuting in 2021 on @nbc’s streaming service @peacocktv. Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins, you are THE TRUTH!!’ he concluded, noting that it was “unprecedented”.
Will is serving as an executive producer on the project, alongside Morgan Cooper, who is directing, co-writing and executive producing.
The original Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air ran from 1990 to 1996 and also starred the late James Avery, Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
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