“Coming to America” is undoubtedly one of Eddie Murphy’s most enduring films. Now 30 years later, the actor has announced he is doing a sequel to the 1988 comedy hit. And Murphy has teamed up with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris for the much-anticipated film, which will be released by Paramount Pictures.
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“After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that ‘Coming to America 2’ is officially moving forward,” Murphy said in a statement. “We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on ‘Dolemite [Is My Name],’ and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the film will focus on Murphy’s Prince Akeem returning to America to find his long-lost son, the heir to the throne of the African nation Zamunda.
“Craig’s ability to create a distinct cinematic world with each of his films is not only impressive, but also what made him exactly the voice and vision we needed to bring this story to life,” Barris added in a statement. “From ‘Hustle and Flow’ to his work with Eddie on ‘Dolemite Is My Name,’ he never fails to blow me away. He is a true auteur and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
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It’s surprising it has taken this long to do a sequel to “Coming to America,” especially since Murphy is known for his film sequels. He did three “Beverly Hills Cop” films. “I’m some kind of sequel champion, I did more sequels than anybody,” he told Rolling Stone in a 2011 interview. “I did my share of sequels for now, anyways.’”
“The original movie was directed by John Landis, with Murphy playing a charming African prince who traveled to New York City to escape an arranged marriage. Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos co-starred in the ‘Coming to America,’ which was a major hit, grossing nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office,” Variety reported.
There is no word on the cast yet and if some of the old stars, such as Arsenio Hall, will join the sequel. But Amos has already publicly declared he wants to be in the new film.
According to TMZ, the 79-year-old Amos wants to return as the owner of the fast-food joint McDowell’s. TMZ asked Amos, “Can you even film a ‘Coming to America’ sequel without Mr. McDowell?”
“It would be kind of egotistical for me to say ‘No, it wouldn’t be possible,’ but in Hollywood, anything is possible!” Amos answered. “But I’d like to think they’re going to bring Mr. McDowell back if for no other reason just to show the continuation of the characters who were established the first time out.”