The anticipated reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air changes its showrunner and will now release at some point in 2022 rather than this year.
The upcoming Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot has changed its showrunner and has now bumped its official release date back to 2022. The series came about after filmmaker Morgan Cooper’s re-imagining of the Fresh Prince concept went viral late last year, catching the attention of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. With its darker tone and more realistic focus, the rebooted series looks to be a significant departure from the original.
When it first debuted back in 1990, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air offered Smith fans something more beyond his music. Smith had previously paired with fellow Philadelphian Jeffrey Townes, a.k.a. DJ Jazzy Jeff, to release three hip-hop albums and garner significant mainstream success prior to the release of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Though the two continued to release albums and perform together well into the early 1990s, the Fresh Prince quickly became a hit, providing Smith with the initial steps toward the superstardom he would eventually enjoy as an actor. The series did not connect Smith and Townes’ musical relationship to their onscreen characters, but Townes continued to play the Jazz character, becoming known as one of Smith’s closest friends upon his arrival in Bel-Air.
Despite being a hit, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air only ran for six seasons on NBC and has aged considerably well in terms of audience appeal. The passing of time has seen the series gain new fans from all over the world and has brought about a demand for more. After seeing Cooper’s impressive YouTube take on the Fresh Prince concept, Smith was instantly on board with doing something new to the story of Will and his adopted Bel-Air home. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was meant to kick off this year via NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, but as THR reports, the series has parted ways with showrunner Chris Collins. A new creative direction is reportedly being given as the reason for the departure, and the series is now aiming for a 2022 release, rather than the previously planned 2021 start.
From its earliest beginnings, The Fresh Prince reboot was brimming with positivity. Smith was overjoyed by the new concept, which sees Will come to Bel-Air without the straightforward comedy that was previously a major aspect of the original series. The new Fresh Prince looks to examine the realities of what it means to be Black in America in the 21stcentury, offering a somewhat tonally darker series. After the series was picked up for an unprecedented two season order, Smith took to his YouTube channel to relay the news along with his considerable excitement. Things appeared to be going in the perfect direction for the series – that is, until this recent revelation that Collins was no longer on board.
Exactly what the different creative direction that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air now wants to go in is unknown. It does seem strange that with things apparently having been going so well that a new direction is now the focus. However, as Smith is producing the series, fans shouldn’t worry that Collins’ departure as showrunner is a move in the wrong direction. The new series is still in excellent hands and Collins remains on board as a writer, director and co-executive producer. The biggest issue for many fans, then, is that the wait for more Fresh Prince will continue for some time yet.
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