Eddie Murphy is Coming to America again with a sequel

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There was a time when Eddie Murphy was a Hollywood hit machine, cranking out one blockbuster after another in the 80s and 90s. A lot of that success came from Murphy translating his raucous, ribald stand-up comedy persona to the big screen to hilariously R-rated effect. And then Murphy got all family-friendly.

While initially this approach worked with such hits like The Nutty Professor and Shrek, it wasn’t long before he was churning stinkers like The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Not even kids wanted to see that. Murphy hit the peak of his terrible-ness when he won the “Worst Actor of the Decade” award at the Razzies in 2010 for the combined efforts of the aforementioned The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit and Showtime.

He’s worked rather infrequently since then, but many fans still hoped that the 57-year old funnyman would recapture his mojo again. Well it appears that Murphy has taken the first step to doing just that as Deadline reports that a long-gestating sequel to Coming to America is finally happening.

Released in 1998 and directed by the great John Landis, Coming to America saw Murphy as Akeem Joffer, the prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who tires of possible arranged marriages to women who will just do whatever he says. On a quest to find an independent women who he can love and who will love him in return just for himself, Akeem travels to America and goes incognito with his best friend/aide Semmi as poor foreign students, working at a fast food joint where he eventually meets the woman of his dreams.

The film was a gigantic box office success, earning $288.7 million off a $39 million budget, and is fondly remembered as beloved classic. Plans were made for both a potential spin-off TV show and a movie sequel, but it just never happened for various reasons. However, things are now moving along for the latter as Craig Brewer, best known for his working directing acclaimed TV series Empire and the 2005 musical drama Hustle and Flow, has been tapped to direct. Brewer has just finished directing Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, Netflix’s upcoming biopic drama about 1970s blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore, and the pair were apparently eager to work together again as Murphy explained in an official statement.

After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward. We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on Dolemite, and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen.

As you may have gathered from that statement, the plan is to bring back all the original characters alongside Murphy’s Akeem, including Arsenio Hall as Semmi; Shari Headley as Lisa, Akeem’s love interest; John Amos as Cleo, the owner of the fast food joint where Akeem works and Lisa’s father; and James Earl Jones as King Jaffe, Akeem’s father. I sincerely hope Murphy also reprises some of the other characters he played in the original. I particularly need to know what’s happening with Randy Watson and his soul band Sexual Chocolate (SEXUAL….. CHOCOLATE!).

Emmy-nominated Black-ish creator and Girls Trip scribe Kenya Barris has been tapped to rewrite an existing sequel screenplay from original writers
Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. Given Barris’ penchant for socio-political commentary in his comedy and today’s foreign relations climate in the US, this may actually be fertile ground to revisit Coming to America. This may just be the movie that gives Murphy his bite back.

A start date for Coming to America 2 – or whatever it ends up being titled – has not been pegged down yet. The hope is that production will begin later this year though.

Last Updated: January 14, 2019

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