West Philadelphia native Jabari Banks will play Bel-Air‘s Will
Watch out, Carlton, because Will Smith has a very special new Banks in his life.
A year after plans were originally revealed for a drama reboot of Smith’s classic sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the rapper-turned-TV actor-turned movie star has tapped newcomer and West Philadelphia native Jabari Banks as Bel-Air‘s Will.
Smith surprised Banks with the news in a vide, above.
“You’ve got a fantastic road ahead of you, and I’m looking forward to being an asset for you in this process as you build out your life and build out your career,” Smith told Banks, who called the opportunity “a dream come true.”
Inspired by a 2019 viral video from Morgan Cooper, who serves as a director, producer, and writer on Bel-Air, the new series has already earned a two-season order from Peacock.
Here’s the official description: “Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will 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.”