Will Smith’s bungee jumping photo has taken over the Internet, prompting many of his fans worldwide to openly speculate as to if a Fresh Prince reboot should be in the works, albeit with a minor twist.
The 48-year-old Will — who has gone on to become a Hollywood blockbuster movie star in the aftermath of his successful run on the popular TV series — channeled his late co-star James Avery with a recent screenshot video photo while in the midst of bungee jumping.
While the image of Will Smith bungee jumping with a shaved head and beard is hardly groundbreaking material, the far more shocking aspect of the entire incident is that Smith so greatly resembled his once storyline Uncle Phil Banks, portrayed by Avery on the sitcom.
James Avery passed away in 2013 at the age of 68.
The uncanny photo resemblance between Will and James was first documented by Buzzfeed.
If nothing else, Will Smith’s bungee jumping stunt — which came replete with Uncle Phil’s signature toothy grin — served as a perfect example of how time leaves no-one behind. Smith, after all, is now older than Avery was when he began portraying Uncle Phil in 1990.
The program, when it debuted on NBC, was a popular comedy that served as a natural extension of Smith’s 1980s hip-hop career.
The comedy initially caught attention for the natural comedic situations in which Smith’s character, who was moved from his rough West Philadelphia upbringing to one of the richest communities in the world, was placed.
Over time, however, the program would come to mean so much more to its viewers.
“Told as a fish out of water tale, Will’s antics in Los Angeles’ most well-to-do neighborhoods got laughs and turned heads,” noted Daily Mail. “But the NBC show also dealt with more serious matters including race relations and the targeting of young black men by the police.”
Of course, the physical similarities between Will Smith and his character uncle could not have been more different at the time.
As Will Smith’s bungee jumping photos demonstrate, however, he could now legitimately pass for the younger version of Avery.
In that respect, most fans of Will’s performances would no doubt welcome a refreshed version of the show in which Smith, himself, plays the uncle and mentor for a new younger, down-and-out nephew of his own.
For his own part, the Hollywood star has been quick to dismiss any rumors of a return for the comedy.
Long before the Will Smith bungee jumping photo surfaced, Smith told E! News last year that a Fresh Princereboot would probably never happen despite news of the success of other relaunches of the Full House and Gilmore Girls brands on Netflix
“I don’t think ever,” said Smith at the time. “Like pretty close to when hell freezes over. Like we’re going to leave that one alone.”
Smith has not been approached about the idea of running the program with him as an older character, however. At least not since the Will Smith bungee jumping photo showed the world that that option was a definite possibility.
Meanwhile, Will’s co-star Alfonso Ribeiro (cousin Carlton) had a slightly different take on the idea. Ribeiro initially contributed to 2015 rumors by TVLine that a reboot was in the “very early stages” of development under his own production company, Overbrook Entertainment.
Several months later, Alfonso would admit that he jumped the gun.
“If it happened,” Ribeiro told HuffPost Live, “it wouldn’t be Fresh Prince. It would be something that’s taking the story of the show and having all new people…. To me, that’s not Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. There’s one Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
There are, however, apparently two Uncle Phils.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]