Will Smith surprises star with news that he will play the new “Fresh Prince”

Bel-Air just found its new boy for its series reboot!

Will Smith surprises star with news that he will play the new “Fresh Prince”
(Image: NBC Universal)

It was a touching moment for 90s sitcom fans as Will Smith, who originally played a fictionalized version of himself in the popular sitcom series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has just passed on the torch to Jabari Banks for the upcoming prequel series. The best part? Banks didn’t know he got the part until the “Fresh Prince” personally relayed the good news.

Smith shared the exciting footage on Instagram on Tuesday. In the video, Smith welcomes Banks via an online call, and goes straight to the surprise that the Philadelphia born and raised has landed the role of a younger Will Smith in the “Fresh Prince” reboot.

“It is an absolute pleasure to meet you, to be on with you,” Smith says. “From the deepest parts of my heart, I want to say congratulations to you. You have the role of Will on ‘Bel-Air.'”

Mouth agape, Banks then holds his head back and rolls around his chair in excitement. “I’m ready,” the young actor tells Smith. “I’m so ready y’all. I’m ready to bite down.” 


Based on the original “Fresh Prince” series, Bel-Air is an upcoming drama series set in modern-day America and tells the tense story of why Will Smith, the role given to Banks, relocated from West Philadelphia to California and the “inherent conflicts, emotions ,and biases” that came with it. Told in hour-long episodes, the forthcoming prequel series already has two seasons slated for a release on Peacock with Morgan Cooper serving as director and co-executive producer.

nbc universal james haston 1
(Image: NBC Universal/James Haston)

During their call, Banks also shared to Smith how he’s been a huge fan of the “Fresh Prince” show since he was younger. While holding up a picture of him and friends in his heyday, Banks told Smith: “”I remember in high school, I begged everyone to be a part of this thing with me, where we dressed up as [the “Fresh Prince” cast],” to which the 52-year-old responded: “That’s hilarious! I love that!”

“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 added.

Bel-Air arrives at Peacock in 2022.

Get Hundreds of Discounts & Vouchers

Grab ₱100,000 worth of vouchers on food, home essentials, fashion finds and more!

Lush Sleep Body Lotion


Get weekly updates on new articles and deals.