Now this is how you put yourself on the map.
Kansas City filmmaker Morgan Cooper just released a fan-made trailer called Bel-Air, a modern, slick-yet-gritty dramatic re-imagining of the 1990s Will Smith sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
And that’s all it is — a fan-trailer — meaning that it’s not promoting an actual reboot of the property or some longer-form version of it. Smith is not attached to the project, nor are any of the orignial series creators or producers. It’s just a one-off piece from an indie filmmaker wanting to show what he’s made of. And wow, does he ever.
Twitter lit up with excitement, wanting to see this become reality (read some of those reactions here). Amateur acting aside, the Bel-Air fan-trailer is a very intriguging take on a nostalgic IP. Moreover, what Cooper has envisioned and created here makes a serious statement of what he’s capable of.
I don’t know if Bel-Air will ever actually become a thing (although if Will Smith was smart he’d already be in contact with Cooper to explore the possibility), but ultimately that’s beside the point. Bel-Air is an attention-grabbing calling card, one that will hopefully lead to meetings and development deals for Cooper.
Hollywood allegedly wants to continue to invest in minority voices; well, they’ve just been handed one (an African-American) on a silver platter. This is really well-made, both visually and conceptually. Hire this guy.
(Check out more of Cooper’s work on his Vimeo page as well as his website.)