Will Smith is bringing his most iconic character back, but with a significant makeover.
Smith announced that he’s launching a children’s book series featuring a character called the “Fresh Princess,” a re-imagining of his character from the television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Entertainment Weekly reported Thursday.
Harper Collins Children’s Books will publish three picture books featuring Destiny, a stylish young girl who moves to a new neighborhood and must acclimate to her surroundings.
The books will be written by Denene Millner, a journalist and author who collaborated with comedian Steve Harvey on the books “Straight Talk, No Chaser” and “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Illustrating the books will be Orlando, Fla., artist Gladys Jose.
“I couldn’t be more excited that the character I played for so long could inspire such a fun and empowering book for kids everywhere,” Smith said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “I know all of my children would have loved Fresh Princess growing up, and being a father who raised a strong daughter I know how important it is to see that type of strength depicted in stories.”
“I’m down to follow Destiny through her growth and adventures just as I had experienced the journey of the young ‘Will Smith’ as he danced, laughed, made mistakes, and created memorable moments on his road to becoming the Fresh Prince,” he added.
Harper Collins Children’s Books editorial director Margaret Anastas said she was “thrilled” to publish the book series.
“Will Smith made the Fresh Prince one of the most memorable characters on TV with his zest for life and willingness to be himself,” she said. “Destiny brings that same energy to a whole new generation by living her life with joy and confidence — a great message for girls today.”
The books seem likely to appeal to parents who have fond memories of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the hit sitcom starring Smith that aired from 1990 to 1996. The show followed a young man from Philadelphia who was sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood.
“Fresh Princess” is slated for publication on April 2.