If 2020 had been a normal year, instead of the poop-filled dumpster fire that it has been, we would have watched Eddie Murphy’s long-awaited Coming To America sequel in cinemas back in August already. However, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping cinemas closed to the point where a delay to December didn’t even make a difference for the film, Paramount Pictures kept up the trend it had established with so many of its other releases for the year and sold the comedy to a streaming service. So now we will get to watch Coming 2 America (yes, that’s the real title) on Amazon Prime Video when it debuts on 25 March 2021.
That’s still three months away though and we are a culture of instant gratification. Luckily, Amazon has us covered here as well, as the first batch of images from the film finally got released, giving us a look at all the returning (surprisingly not that wrinkly) faces with one new one.
Let’s start with the old guard first as Murphy is back as Prince Akeem Joffer, the next-in-line monarch of the fictional wealthy African nation of Zamunda. In the classic 1988 John Landis-directed original, the pampered young Akeem ditches an arranged marriage and travels incognito to America with manservant/best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall, back as well) to find a wife who will love him for who he is and not just his royal status.
The sequel picks up years after Akeem has been happily married to Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley), the woman he met and fell in love with on his first trip. Now, just as Akeem is set to inherit the throne from his ailing father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), he finds out that he has an estranged son in America that he knew nothing about. And so Akeem and Semmi set off once more for US to track him down and make things right before he becomes king.
Along with playing Semmi, Hall will also be playing a number of characters, including Morris the Barber. Murphy will reportedly be reprising the hilarious Reginal Johnson, lead singer of soul band Sexual Chocolate. The previously mentioned new face belongs to Garcelle Beauvais who is playing a new character named Rose. It’s unknown what her role is in the movie, but just by going from casting lists, it appears she only has a minor role.
Strangely omitted from this reveal are any pics for Akeem’s estranged son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), Lavelle’s unnamed mother (Leslie Jones), and Lavelle’s uncle Reem (Tracy Morgan). Wesley Snipes has also joined the cast as General Izzi, the older brother of Imani Izzi (Vanessa Bell Calloway), Akeem’s original betrothed wife. Neither of them is to be seen here though. With just three months to go though, I’m pretty sure a trailer will be imminent, so that should sort out that oversight.
Coming 2 America’s script was initially penned by returning original screenwriters Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, but Black-Ish creator Kenya Barris reworked the final draft. Sitting in the director’s chair will be Craig Brewer, the same filmmaker who led Murphy to a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination for his performance in Dolemite Is My Name (which was itself nominated for Best Picture). I don’t expect that level of accolades for Coming 2 America, but as long as we get some classic Murphy gags, I will be happy.
Last Updated: December 18, 2020