Will Smith has been collecting fans all over the world for his rapping and acting in blockbusters and has even become Instagram famous recently for his inspirational rants and random acts of adventure.
And now the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star can add a new title to his extensive resume: children’s book author. The new book, penned in collaboration with prolific New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, centers around “The Fresh Princess, ” a little girl looking to find her way after moving from Bel-Air to Philadelphia.
“There are such beautiful ideas in the Fresh Prince and the Fresh Princess now. The idea of being uprooted and to have to make your way in this strange new world where you feel lesser than,” Smith said during an interview with Good Morning America.
Millner, an author of over 30 books and journalist who has built a platform to bolster the African American parenting experience through her website MyBrownBaby.com, saw the beauty in collaborating with Smith to create a story about a little brown-girl version of Smith’s character, coupled with brilliance and some Philly-style spunk.
“He had this brilliant idea to create a little girl that was very much like the Fresh Prince,” Millner said. “She would be strong. She would be confident. She would be super cute. She would be a little bit of a trouble-maker.”
And Millner told GMA that the collaboration with Smith was an easy fit.
“Just seeing his family unit, this beautiful African-American family unit living and loving and showing how to be, through humor of course, but also just loving one another it just… it was home,” she said in an interview that aired on Monday with Smith.
And could the ‘Fresh Princess’ be the catalyst that adds a new perspective for a reboot of the TV show that first hit the small screen 29 years ago? Smith certainly didn’t rule out the idea for a reboot based on his new book.
“We’re thinking about it,” he admits. One of the show’s main characters’ James Avery who played Uncle Phil died and Smith said he just wants things to be right if a reboot happens.
“It was like … a perfect 3-pointer … at the end of the game,” he said of the show’s ending. “So I don’t want to go back and mess it up.”
In more exciting news for young readers, the dynamic publishing duo admitted that Millner already has a follow-up ‘Fresh Princess’ book in mind based on an episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that she couldn’t dish about just yet.
And in addition to riding high on the release of his new book, Smith is also racking up accolades for his role as Genie in Disney’s latest reimagining of Aladdin. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly anticipated live-action feature grossed $112.7 million stateside over the Memorial Day weekend, beating out even high-end estimates that the film would bow to $100 million.
Internationally, Aladdin picked up an estimated $121 million for the three-day weekend, across 54 territories. China led the way with $18.7 million in ticket sales, followed by Mexico ($9.2 million) and the U.K. ($8.4 million).