Modern Hollywood runs on nostalgia. That results in endless reboots, remakes, revisions, and re-fittings. So, when word came out that Eddie Murphy’s 1988 hit Coming To America is finally getting a sequel, it wasn’t really a surprise. It took 32 years to make this happen, but now it’s here and Coming To America 2 is called Coming 2 America.
Here’s everything we know so far about what Eddie Murphy and his team are planning for the Coming To America sequel, Coming 2 America.
WHY MAKE COMING TO AMERICA 2 NOW?
Why now for Coming 2 America? Eddie Murphy was a major force in the late ‘80s from his Saturday Night Live days to Beverly Hills Cop and Axel Foley, 48 Hours and Trading Places. He has seen his star rise and fall only to recently rise again with his last film, Dolemite Is My Name. He capitalized on that rise by hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years and there is also rumor that a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie is in the works. So again, why not making Coming To America 2?
COMING 2 AMERICA’S RETURNING CAST
Eddie Murphy is back in Coming To America 2. His Prince Akeem Joffer is the driving force behind this sequel. When asked why he’s making a sequel when there’s a risk of ruining the reputation of the great first film, he offered this reassurance about Coming 2 America: “A lot of people have this expectation like people would say to me when they found out I was doing it, ‘Don’t fuck that movie up.’ So, we’ve gone above and beyond what anybody would think. I’m really, really happy with it,” Murphy told CINEMABLEND.
How many characters will Eddie play in Coming 2 America? As you may recall, not only did he play Prince Akeem in the first movie, but he also played Randy Watson, the soul singer from the band Sexual Chocolate, Clarence, the owner of the barbershop and Saul, the Jewish barbershop customer. We only know that he’s playing Akeem for sure, but it seems likely he’ll revisit the idea of playing multiple characters again in the Coming To America sequel.
Arsenio Hall will be back in Coming 2 America as Semmi, Akeem’s best friend and aide. What role will he play after all these years, is he still an aide or does he now have more responsibility? And like Murphy, how many characters will he play? We don’t know, but in Coming To America he also played Reverend Brown, Morris the barber and in the club scene, he was an extremely ugly girl.
Shari Headley is returning for Coming 2 America as Lisa McDowell, now Prince Akeem’s wife. She was the sole reason Prince Akeem went to America the first time around, to find true love.
John Amos is back in Coming To America 2 as Lisa’s father Cleo. He is the owner of the fast-food burger joint McDowell’s who has been in a trademark infringement lawsuit with McDonald’s. Wonder how that turned out.
James Earl Jones returns as King Jaffe Joffer. Rumor has it his character will be ailing in Coming 2 America, so look for some tender moments between Murphy and Earl Jones.
Louis Anderson will also return as Maurice. He was one of Akeem’s co-workers at McDowell’s in Coming To America. Maybe in the 30 years, he has stepped up to supervisor?
COMING TO AMERICA 2’S NEW CAST
Coming 2 America will also have its share of new faces. Jermaine Fowler is set to star as Akeem’s son LaVelle, the reason Akeem will be going back to America. Wesley Snipes joins the cast as General Izzi, the ruler of kingdom neighboring Akeem’s Zamunda. Comedians Tracy Morgan and Leslie Jones have also been brought on. Jones will be LaVelle’s mother and Morgan is Reem, LaVell’s hustling, scheming uncle.
The only question we have about these new and returning faces is: what about Samuel L. Jackson or Eriq La Salle? As you may remember, Samuel L. portrayed the robber at McDowell’s and Eriq La Salle famously wore the jheri curl as Lisa McDowell’s boyfriend. So far there’s been no word of their involvement in Coming To America 2.
THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE
Hot off the success of Dolemite is director Craig Brewer who has been chosen to direct Coming 2 America. Brewer is also known for his work on the Footloose remake, Hustle & Flow, and Black Snake Moan. Bringing back Murphy in Dolemite scored the movie two Grammy nominations, one for Murphy as best actor and the other for the movie as Best Picture.
Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield were the writers of the original Coming To America and also penned the first script for the sequel Coming 2 America. But Black-ish creator Kenya Barris stepped in for a rewrite and that Coming America 2 script is the one being used for the sequel.
COMING TO AMERICA 2’S PLOT
A few details have been leaked about the plot of Coming 2 America. The comedy sequel’s story will revolve around Prince Akeem’s son LaVell, a kid Akeem was unaware of, the result of one of the one-night affairs he had before he found his true love in Lisa McDowell. Akeem will have to travel back to America to work things out with his son while trying to deal with things back in his homeland.
RELEASE DATE AND RATING
Coming 2 America had an August 7, 2020 theatrical release date but that was abandoned due to COVID-19. Now the movie won’t be released in theaters. Instead, it’s being released direct to video on demand on December 18, 2020. Fans may also be disheartened when they find out that where the original Coming To America received an R rating, Coming To America 2 is going to be released with a PG-13 rating.