Just this February, there came word that 1988 Paramount Pictures romantic comedy “Coming to America” was getting a sequel over three decades since its premiere. This distant follow-up is being produced by the original star Eddie Murphy, who is also reprising his role as the older Prince Akeem of Zamunda, who briefly lived in and found love in New York. While already being conceptualized since 2017, it was not until this year that “Coming 2 America” was confirmed as a thing. With the latest announcement that filming will soon begin are some new and old names added to the cast.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that the cast of characters for Paramount’s “Coming 2 America” has grown to include both reprising characters and new additions to the distant sequel of one of Eddie Murphy’s most memorable comedy films. Notable newcomers to the project include the likes of Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Kiki Layne and rapper Rick Ross. As for Murphy’s fellow returnees from the original, it is confirmed that Arsenio Hall, Paul Bates and James Earl Jones are also back on board as, respectively, Prince Akeem’s best friend Semmi, the silent royal manservant Oha, and King Jaffe Joffer of Zamunda.
Initial plot points revealed about “Coming 2” reveal that it takes place just as King Jaffe is dying, with Akeem (Murphy) soon to be crowned after him. However, word comes out of a son he never knew during his time in America, and on his father’s last wishes he must return to bring back his unknown son to be raised as a Prince. Complicating matters are his own royal child, a daughter (thus cannot be named king), as well as the involvement of General Izzi (Snipes), the dictator of Zamunda’s neighboring nation, in the succession issue. The roles of Jones and Ross were not disclosed.
Handling directing duties for the movie is Craig Brewer, who has past collaboration experience on the upcoming Rudy Ray Moore biopic “Dolemite is My Name” alongside Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes. Kiki Layne looks to expand her acting genre portfolio from drama (2018’s “If Beale Street Could Talk”) and crime thrillers to more humorous fare. Leslie Jones on the other hand will be heard as part of the voice cast for Sony Animation’s “Angry Birds 2,” premiering this week. Eddie Murphy’s co-producers for “Coming 2 America” include Kevin Misher and “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris. The film itself starts photography in September, to premiere December 2020.
Image from Atlanta Black Star