We may not have seen the last of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
As it turns out, Will Smith is developing a spin-off of the popular 1990s sitcom via his new multimedia company, Westbrook, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Word of Smith’s Fresh Prince spinoff was a small piece of an expansive profile on Smith’s wealth and his ability to make “real money in Hollywood.” While no further details were given about the possible Fresh Prince spin-off series, the publication noted that Smith earns “hefty royalties” from the show, which currently airs in 193 territories.
The original Fresh Prince series aired for six years on NBC, wrapping its run in 1996 after 148 episodes. The show kicked off Smith’s acting career and helped make him a household name, but the Fresh Prince likely wouldn’t have happened without the IRS.
Before the Fresh Prince, Smith had a well-established rap career, but lived beyond his means to the point where he ended up owing the government agency nearly $3 million in unpaid taxes in 1990. The IRS began repossessing items like cars and motorcycles, leaving him “broke, broke, broke” as he said in a YouTube video recounting the experience last year.
“Being famous and broke is a s- combination, ‘cause you still famous and people recognize you but they recognize you while you’re sitting next to them on the bus,” Smith said.
Smith’s girlfriend at the time suggested he hang out at the studio that hosted The Arsenio Hall Show to find a deal that would help with his tax debt. That ultimately resulted in a meeting with future Fresh Prince executive producer Quincy Jones, who signed Smith to a contract for the show after a brief audition. Three months after that, Smith said, he got to work on the Fresh Prince pilot.
Since the show ended in 1996, many fans have clamored for a reboot of the show, which Smith has opposed in no uncertain terms. Most recently in 2016, he said that a reboot would happen “when hell freezes over.” But with Hollywood Reporter’s indication that a spin off is underway at Westbrook, it appears Smith may have softened on the issue.
This, however, is not the first time that word of a new Fresh Prince project has surfaced. Last year, in fact, there was news of a possible female-led Fresh Prince reboot tentatively called Fresh Princess, though nothing has yet materialized there. Previously, in 2015, rumors of another reboot from Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment began traveling around.
The closest fans have gotten to new a Fresh Prince series, however, has been Smith’s Fresh Prince-themed clothing line known as Bel-Air Athletics. The star announced new merch from the show earlier this month via his Instagram, showing off a line of T-shirts, socks, and jackets, though they reportedly will only be available until Oct. 14.