It wouldn’t be a proper Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion without the original Aunt Viv, who arrives for a “candid conversation” with Will Smith in a newly released trailer for the highly anticipated HBO Max special.
As previously reported, Janet Hubert, whose behind-the-scenes issues with Will Smith led to her early departure as the original Vivian Banks, agreed to sit down with Smith for the upcoming special, which is set to premiere on Thursday, Nov. 19. The sneak peek, which dropped on Friday, features footage of Hubert on the Warner Bros. lot — and audible gasps from her former TV family when they discover she’s returned.
The Fresh Prince special was filmed in September and marked the 30-year anniversary of the iconic NBC sitcom. In addition to Smith and Hubert, the reunion features Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv No. 2), DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), all of whom are gathered in the Banks’ living room.
Sadly, James Avery — who played beloved family patriarch Philip Banks — died in 2013. He is fondly remembered in the above video, as Smith recalls the classic scene where Will realized his absentee dad had left him for a second time. “I just wanted him to think I was good,” Smith says. “I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he’s holding me… The shot pans off and he whispers in my ear, ‘Now that’s acting.’”
The Fresh Prince reunion comes on the heels of the recently announced Bel-Air reboot, which received an immediate two-season, straight-to-series order at Peacock. The dramatic reimagining (which counts Smith as an executive producer) is based on a viral parody trailer by Morgan Cooper (which you can watch here).
Press PLAY on the trailer above, then hit the comments and tell us if you’re looking forward to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special.