Paramount Sells ‘Coming 2 America’ to Amazon Studios
There are some movies that stand alone as classics for the culture – and “Coming To America” is definitely one of them. Now Paramount Pictures has sold the highly anticipated sequel “Coming 2 America” to Amazon Studios. It is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video Dec. 18, according to Variety.
The deal is said to be valued at approx. $125 million and will include “two complex consumer marketing tie-ins with McDonalds and whiskey brand Crown Royal.” Variety reports it is a priority sale for Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke.
Initially set to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, “Coming 2 America” puts a 2020 spin on the classic comedy that starred Eddie Murphy as Crown Prince Akeem Joffer of the fictional African nation Zamunda and Arsenio Hall as his best friend and aide Semmi.
Released in 1988, the original film follows Akeem who journeys to America with Semmi to avoid an arranged marriage and find a bride of his choosing. He ends up in Queens, New York where a comedic adventure like no other ensues. Ultimately, Akeem finds the love and happiness he sought with the beautiful Lisa played by Shari Headley.
In addition to Murphy, Hall and Headley, the movie boasted an all-star cast including James Earl Jones, John Amos, Eriq La Salle and others. Many new faces, like Vanessa Bell Calloway (who was also in the original as Akeem’s groomed wife), went on the become stars in their own right.
The first film grossed nearly $300 million at the global box office. Murphy partnered with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris on the upcoming sequel.
In the 2020 sequel, Akeem is preparing to ascend to the throne as king when he learns he has a street-smart son named Lavelle in Queens whom he never knew existed. It is his father, King Jaffe’s, dying wish that Akeem find and groom his grandson to become crown prince. So, Akeem and Semmi head back to America for a different adventure.
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Murphy, Hall, Jones, Amos, Headley and Calloway will all reprise their roles in the sequel. It will also star Jermaine Fowler as Lavelle, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Rick Ross, Garcelle Beauvais and others.
“Coming 2 America” is the latest in a line of movies Paramount has sold to streaming companies due to the downturn of in-theater movie attendance caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
The studio also sold “Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Lovebirds” and “Without Remorse.”