Fans of 90s sitcoms have been a lucky bunch these past couple of years. Between Girl Meets World and Fuller House, the airwaves will soon be filled with familiar faces. But the fun doesn't stop there! Break out your Ecto-Cooler and Butterfinger BB's, because we're going to need some sustenance to marathon through all of these reboots.
Last week, E! broke the news that a rebooted version of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is in very development nearly two decades after the show went off the air, and Will Smith's company Overbrook Entertainment will oversee production.
Since this is all in very, very early stages there's no concept, script, or network attached to the project at the moment, we have really no idea what to expect other than Entertainment Weekly reporting that it won't be a straight reboot:
Despite reports […] that the new series would reboot Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” for modern audiences, the project will only share some surface similarities to the classic NBC series in that it could be a fish-out-of-water story.
Although it sounds like it will differ a lot from the original cast, I've decided to put together a list of actors who could play similar roles in this "fish-out-of-water" story. So I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you who I think should star in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!
The Leading Man - Tyler James Williams
What would Fresh Prince of Bel-Air have been without Will Smith? To get the full effect of his whole "young, funny kid with a heart of gold in a new environment" they would need to cast someone who has a serious sense of humor but can also master the heartfelt moments. For that reason, I pick Tyler James Williams.
His work on Everybody Hates Chris proved he has the comedy chops down, and his role in Dear White People this past year had him playing the "fish-out-of-water" role that EW was talking about. It goes without question that he's perfect leading man material.
The Dorky Cousin - Kamil McFadden
The young Kamil McFadden hasn't been in a lot yet, but his current role of Ernie on The Disney Channel's K.C. Undercover has him playing the loveable geeky type. I think he'd be able play the role of the best friend, dorky cousin alonside Tyler James Williams really well! And as long as he can bust a quick Carlton-esque dance move or two, I'll be happy.
The Sassy Older Sister - Kiersey Clemons
Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Extant) is gorgeous, talented, funny, and chic as hell! That's why I think she's be great to play a sassy older sister role. Although she's much smarter and more well-spoken than the vapid Hilary Banks, she did tell Conan O'Brien in an interview she said that calling her a "bitch" is a term of endearment, and that seems like just the kind of attitude we'd need in a new Hilary character.
The Young One - Amandla Stenberg
Not only did Amandla Stenberg steal our hearts by playing Rue in The Hunger Games and she has only continued to do so! She's sweet and clearly a skilled actress, but she's also incredibly smart and thoughtful. By using her platform, she's been able to help stand against cultural appropriation and help open the eyes and minds of her fans as to what black culture means.
I think she's a massive talent and a good role model for young girls. She won't be nearly as young and impressionable as Ashley Banks was, but I think that's a good thing! Let her be a little older, stronger and outspoken!
The Wise Uncle - Will Smith
Since it's hard to imagine anyone even stepping in the shadow of the late James Avery, I think that it would be nice a nice nod to him to see Will Smith show off everything Uncle Phil taught him to a new generation. I'm not sure at what capacity Smith will be involved, but since he's producing it doesn't seem out of the question that he would appear onscreen.
The Motherly Type - Regina King
She might seem a little on the fantastically fierce side, but Vivian Banks was always more of a cool mom. Whoever plays the wife of Will Smith would have to be able to balance out his humor and help keep him grounded. From her work in Southland to 24, we know that Regina King can be soft when necessary, but also a total badass. I know that she's probably too busy with American Crime to make this happen, but hey, it's a fan casting! Anything is possible.
The Sarcastic Butler - Joseph Marcell
While his true love belongs to the stage, I would love to see Joseph Marcell reprise his role as Geoffrey Butler! Also, I can't imagine anyone else filling his witty, sarcastic shoes. Ideally, other actors from the original series will make appearances from time to time.
As is alway the case with fan castings, these are just my opinions and you're more than welcome to disagree! If you have any ideas for what you hope to see from the new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series, let me know in the comments section!