Photo: Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank
It’s been three decades since a fictionalized version of Will Smith took that momentous 2,728-mile, 41-hour cab ride from Philadelphia to join his aunt and uncle’s household in California. According to Variety, most of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast will be reuniting for a 30th anniversary reunion special on HBO Max next month, produced by Will Smith’s company Westbrook Media. Smith will be joined by series costars Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and, of course, DJ Jazzy Jeff for the occasion. Actor James Avery, who played Will’s warm, paternal, constantly exasperated Uncle Phil, passed away in 2013.
Directed by Marcus Raboy, the unscripted special will reportedly tape on September 10, the day the series debuted on NBC in 1990, and premiere “around Thanksgiving.” As is also the case with the perpetually-postponed Friends reunion, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is currently available to stream on HBO Max.
Meanwhile, Will Smith is developing a reboot of Fresh Prince based on filmmaker Morgan Cooper’s self-made trailer, reimagining the sitcom as a realistic drama about a teenage boy from Philly thrust into the hot bed of wealth and privilege that is the richest neighborhood in L.A. And if they can somehow make a gritty, compelling version of the Carlton Dance, they just might pull it off.
Fresh Prince Cast to Sit on Their Thrones for Sitcom Reunion