Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion trailer unveiled by Will Smith

Special planned for 19 November on HBO Max

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Friday 13 November 2020 22:38 GMT
Trailer for Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion

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Louise Thomas

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Will Smith has unveiled the trailer for an upcoming Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special.

The actor shared the clip on Friday, also announcing the episode’s release date. The programme, announced in August this year, is set to air on 19 November on HBO Max.

In the trailer, Smith and his former cast mates can be seen reuniting in person to reminisce about their time on the sitcom and the circumstances that led them to join the show.

It includes an emotional sequence paying tribute to James Avery, who portrayed Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks on the series and died in December 2013 aged 68 following complications from open heart surgery.

“James Avery was this 6’4’' Shakespearian beast,” Smith says. “And I wanted him to think I was good.”

Smith then recalls filming an iconic scene in “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse”, the 24th episode in season four of the series. In the sequence, Smith’s character is briefly reunited with his absent father, who quickly leaves him again.

He then has a heart-to-heart with Banks, asking him at one point about his own father: “How come he don’t want me, man?” Banks then pulls the teenager into a tight hug, right as young Will breaks into sobs. 

The sequence is widely regarded among fans as one of the best and most heartbreaking scenes in the show.

In the newly released trailer, Smith recounts how Avery, while still holding him at the end of the scene, whispered in his ear: “Now, that’s acting.”

The reunion, described by HBO Max as “an unscripted special looking back at the series and the cultural impact the series has had since its debut”, will star – in addition to Smith – Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

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