The hotly anticipated reimagined reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be coming to your screens in the very near future. The show has officially begun production, and the cast that will take on the iconic roles of Will, Jazz, and the Banks family has been announced for its streaming release on Peacock.
The series, based on the 2019 viral fan flick of the same name from creator Morgan Cooper, sees the 1990 family comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reimagined as a modern-day drama following the ups and downs of a troubled youth from West Philadelphia sent to live with his affluent cousins in California to avoid further violence after a fight in his local neighborhood. Cooper will serve as director, co-writer, and executive producer of his brainchild project.
The original ‘Will’ himself, Will Smith was an early champion of making the dramatic interpretation of his classic sitcom a reality. He lauded the original YouTube video as “brilliant,” and will now be serving as co-executive producer alongside Cooper to bring the show to streaming.
Bel-Air has already been picked up for two seasons at Peacock. Take a look at the lucky actors, including a few newcomers, filling the shoes of these iconic roles.
Jabari Banks as Will
A newcomer to the screen, Jabari Banks is an authentic West Philadelphia resident. He recently graduated from the University of the Arts in Philly, and is an accomplished songwriter, singer, rapper, and basketball player.
Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks
Perhaps best known for his work on Netflix’s V-Wars and Amazon’s The Boys, Adrian Holmes has over 100 film and TV credits to his name. English-born and Canadian-bred, Holmes is of Bajan descent and has won multiple acting awards for his roles.
Cassandra Freeman as Vivan Banks
Cassandra Freeman has made a splash in the industry through her memorable roles in Spike Lee’s Inside Man, TBS’s The Last OG, Marvel’s Luke Cage, and NBC’s The Enemy Within.
Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks
Nigerian-American actor, singer, and music producer Olly Sholotan is a native of Houston, TX. He’s garnered hundreds of thousands of music streams across multiple platforms under his independent music label Lamintin Records, and most recently starred in 2020 Venice International Film Festival selection, Run Hide Fight.
Coco Jones as Hillary Banks
An industry veteran since age 9, Tennessee native Coco Jones has appeared on various movies and shows on the Disney Channel and has starred on Broadway in the A Bronx Tale musical directed by Robert de Niro. She’s even been featured in ESSENCE’s own “35 Under 35: Young, Black, and Amazing.”
Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks
Already successful in the industry at just 14 years old, Akira Akbar is perhaps best known for her roles as Monica Rambeau in the 2019 box office hit Marvel film Captain Marvel, Brooke in Netflix’s Family Reunion, and Young Beth in NBC’s hit drama “This Is Us.”
Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey
British actor Jimmy Akingbola has been a scene-stealer on shows such as Idris Elba’s Starz hit In the Long Run, Apple TV +’s Ted Lasso, and as the lead in ITV’s Kate and Koji.
Jordan L. Jones as Jazz
Upon graduated from USC in 2016, Jordan L. Jones immediately began booking big acting gigs. He starred in a recurring roles on Netflix’s Disjointed, and Fox’s Rel, and has had guest spots on hit shows NCIS: Los Angeles, Shameless, and Snowfall.
Simone Joy Jones as Lisa
Having graduated with her BFA from Carnegie Melon just this year, Simone Joy Jones starred on Broadway in a rendition of The Miracle Worker at just 10 years old. An accomplished singer, she released her debut album Divine Mistakes (available on all music streaming platforms) earlier this year.