IF you haven’t noticed it yet, we are in the age of reboots and remakes, from movies on the big screen to our favorite TV shows back in the ‘90s. As much as we would like to, though, not all of them can be re-done and still have the same effect that it did some decades ago.
But, one filmmaker is doing just that: taking a fan-favorite series and making it completely different from its original inception—creating it darker, grittier, and overall more badass.
Young writer and director Michael Cooper reimagined The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a dramatic film set in the present. Cooper said like most ‘90s kids, he grew up watching Fresh Prince. “Even as a kid, I always thought there was more to the story,” he tweeted. “So I decided to make this.” Cutting the title short to just Bel-Air is the icing on the cake to make this a recognizably different take of the '90s fave.
Cooper began working on Bel-Air six months ago, in collaboration with Sun Squared Media. The opening conflict of the original series, if you still remember, was rapped about almost joyously in the opening credits by Will Smith. Here, Cooper transformed that into a gritty take on gang violence and police brutality, which sees young Will (played by Jerry Madison) dodge possible jail-time by agreeing to move in with his tough-as-nails Uncle Phil in Bel-Air.
Of course, it won’t be complete if familiar characters don’t make appearances: Aunt Vivian is the same voice of support that she was in the ‘90s TV show; and the actor playing Jazz could have been lifted directly out of an episode of the original. But one key character has been changed into the thorn in Will’s side. His cousin and sidekick, Carlton, is revamped as a privileged douchebag who doesn’t want him in Bel-Air.
So far, the video has garnered over 2.3 million views on YouTube, and fans are flooding the comments section and clamoring for a legit remake on Twitter.