Now, this is a story all about how our lives got flipped turned right-side-up ever since Will Smith posted a pair of heartfelt reunion photos from the 30th anniversary of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which included the original Aunt Viv.
The main actor shared some snapshots from the original set of the Banks mansion with his former co-stars Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks), Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz). Fans were shocked to see his private reunion with Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv for the family sitcom’s first three seasons before being replaced by Maxwell Reid, after she publicly criticized him and the show for decades with claims of mistreatment during (and leading up to) her exit.
It was the first time in 27 years that the two got together for what HBO Max described as “an emotional reunion and a candid conversation” in a news release.
“Today is exactly 30 YEARS since The @FreshPrince of Bel-Air debuted! So we’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon to @HBOmax!” Smith wrote on Instagram yesterday (Sept. 10), while paying tribute to the late actor James Avery (Uncle Phil) who died in 2013 due to open-heart surgery complications. “RIP James. #FreshPrince30th.”
HBO Max described the reunion special, which is being developed by Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s media company Westbrook Media, as “a funny and heartfelt night full of music, dancing, and more special surprise guests.” It will launch exclusively on the new streaming platform around Thanksgiving, which also acquired the original series. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons on NBC from 1990 to 1996.
Smith and the crew first got back together in April for an episode of his Snapchat Discover series Will From Home.
Additionally, a dramatic reboot titled Bel-Air already got the green light for two seasons on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service. The hour-long episodes seek to dig deeper into “Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air.”
See Smith return to his throne as the Prince of Bel-Air with the whole Banks clan by his side below.