Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite in the first-look images from Coming 2 America. It’s been over 30 years since we’ve seen Prince Akeem and his good friend Semmi on the big screen, and they’re back together in the upcoming highly-anticipated sequel. Coming to America hit theaters in 1988, at a time when Murphy was at the peak of his comedic powers. Fans have asked for a sequel for decades, but Murphy wasn’t ready to revive Prince Akeem until now.
In one of our first looks at Prince Akeem and Semmi, we notice that Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy haven’t really aged. They look nearly identical to how they did in the first installment 32 years ago. In addition, there is a Soul Glo poster on a nearby wall, which should get a few laughs from fans of the original movie. For the sequel, Murphy reteamed with Dolemite Is My Name director, Craig Brewer. In a new interview, Brewer teased what fans can expect.
“It’s 30 years later and Prince Akeem is preparing for life as a king. Without me giving away too much, there’s trouble on the horizon with a neighboring country because of something Akeem did or did not do in the first movie. And he finds out that he has a son in America that he did not know he had. He has three daughters with Lisa and now there’s this blended family that is happening. Prince Akeem now needs to be a king and have children of his own and find out how to rule his kingdom with these old laws. He’s got some problems he’s got to figure out and he’s got a little bit more depth in this particular one. Not to take away from the original, because we never will.”
In addition to Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, Coming 2 America also stars Shari Headley, Paul Bates, John Amos, and James Earl Jones, who are all reprising their roles from the first movie. Newcomers to the cast include, KiKi Layne, Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross, and Wesley Snipes. Snipes previously teased that viewers are going to have to watch the movie in diapers because of how funny it is. Jones is back as Akeem’s father the king of Zamunda and he can be seen in one of the other new images. Even the New York barbershop crew is back in two different images, which has Murphy playing multiple characters. Headey’s Lisa character can also be seen with Murphy’s Prince Akeem.
Craig Brewer also believes that fans of the original are going to love the Amazon Prime sequel, though it isn’t necessarily all about the laughs for him. “The conversations that Eddie and I were having was just about, where does Coming to America sit in people’s hearts?” Brewer went on to note that the movie is very important to some fans, which is tied to nostalgia. “People will shout on the streets to us, like, ‘Is Cleo [Amos] going to be in? McDowell’s better be in it or there’s going to be trouble!’ So you’re going to get everyone’s opinions towards what it is, but we needed to get down to the essence of what’s going to bring people into this movie – in addition to the comedy.” It sounds like Brewer and Eddie Murphy were able to find a line between too much nostalgia, and just enough.
Craig Brewer went on to say that Coming 2 America is “such a nostalgia celebration, especially for people our age.” With that being said, Brewer and Eddie Murphy knew that they could not simply go back and remake the original. “But we’ve got to have a heart in it. We’ve got to have something that Akeem is dealing with, and I think what is particularly special about our movie is the dynamic that is happening with the audience and the characters,” says the director. “I think Eddie and I were excited and challenged to make it meaningful as well as hilarious.” You can check out all of the first images from Coming 2 America above, thanks to the official Amazon Studios Twitter.