Even though the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast had earlier promised to never do this, Will Smith and his fellow Fresh Prince cast members got back together for a big, yet incomplete reunion.
— Stylist Magazine (@StylistMagazine) March 29, 2017
While fans are speculating if the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion could suggest that there are plans to make a reboot of the 90s classic sitcom, the fact that Will Smith and his cast mates got back together is fantastic for two reasons.
Firstly, the reunion has been more than 20 years in the making. Secondly, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, said two years ago that a reunion would never happen due to one of its most prominent cast members – James Avery, who played Uncle Phil – passing away in December, 2013, aged 68-years-old.
Even though Avery was noticeably missing from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, a snap shared by Ribeiro on Instagram on Monday shows that Will Smith and his cast mates are still one, big family.
A post shared by Alfonso Ribeiro (@therealalfonsoribeiro) on
It’s unclear what changed Ribeiro’s mind about finally holding the first Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion in over 20 years, and with many speculating about a reboot in the works, the fans couldn’t contain their excitement to see Will Smith, Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Joseph Marcell get back together for a group photo.
In the caption to the reunion photo, Ribeiro referred to his fellow Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast members as a “family.”
“Always amazing to spend an afternoon with my Fresh Prince family.”
Ribeiro also wrote he wished Avery could be “still with us to make this complete.” Avery passed away from complications during open heart surgery more than three years ago.
Last May, Will Smith and fellow Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast members celebrated the 20th anniversary of the series finale episode which aired in May, 1996. However, the cast members didn’t get back together for a reunion for the special occasion.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 29, 2017
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans would certainly love to see the Banks family and their quirky Philadelphia cousin in action again in a reboot. And in the time of virtually every TV and film studios releasing nostalgia-inducing reboot projects, it wouldn’t seem a big deal to see Will Smith play the titular character again.
But Will Smith shut down Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot rumors last year when he seemed confident telling E! News that he didn’t think a reboot of the 90s sitcom would “ever” happen.
“I don’t think ever, like pretty close to when hell freezes over. Like we’re going to leave that one alone.”
However, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast members seem to be open to changing their mind over time. One indication of that is when Ribeiro told E! News two years ago that the passing of Avery meant the cast would never come back together for a reunion.
“I don’t think we feel as a cast that we would do even our fans justice. We all felt like he was the centerpiece or the nucleus of that show. Without him, it just doesn’t work.”
But on Monday the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion finally happened, despite Ribeiro saying it was impossible just two years ago. So could Will Smith also be wrong when he said a Fresh Prince reboot would never happen?
Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Will Smith seems to be unknowingly giving Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans a 90s sitcom throwback. Earlier this month, Smith fulfilled his 20-year dream to bungee jump off a bridge and fans noticed that he sported a look that resembled Uncle Phil, according to People magazine.
[Featured Image by Julie Markes/AP Images]