September 02, 2020
Will Smith is moving back in with this auntie and uncle in Bel Air ... temporarily. The West Philly native will join the original cast of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" to record a special for the show's 30th anniversary that will air on HBO Max.
The show's actors – Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Reid (Vivian) and DJ Jazzy Jeff — will reunite on Sept. 10, the same date the series debuted on NBC in 1990. The special will debut on the streaming platform "around Thanksgiving," according to HBO Max.
Now this is a story all about how... the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunites for a one-time special! Coming around Thanksgiving only on HBO Max! pic.twitter.com/ZSlktr731e— HBO Max (@hbomax) August 31, 2020
James Avery, who played Uncle Phil on the "Fresh Prince," died in 2013 of complications from open-heart surgery.
Smith and the cast had reunited virtually in May on Smith's snapchat series "Will From Home." The group spent some of that gathering sharing their memories of Avery.
The HBO Max special will be produced by Smith's production company, Westbrook Media, and directed by Marcus Raboy. The special will feature music, dancing, and guest appearances, the Hollywood Reporter reported. Naturally, we need to see Ribeiro break out the Carlton Dance.
Also in the "Fresh Prince" universe, Smith is shopping "Bel-Air," a dramatic reinterpretation of the sitcom inspired by a trailer created by Morgan Cooper, who will be an executive producer and co-writer of the new series with Chris Collins ("The Wire," "Sons of Anarchy.") "Bel Air" is being pitched to streaming platforms, including HBO Max.
HBO Max also is working on a "Friends" reunion that had been scheduled to premiere in May, but it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. David Schwimmer, who played Ross Gellar, has said he was hopeful the special would begin taping by mid-August, but production was postponed a second time due to the pandemic, Variety reported.