After almost 30 years, an Eddie Murphy classic is about to land itself a sequel. Murphy’s 1988 comedy hit Coming to America is poised for a follow-up with a script rewrite from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and directorial duties falling to Jonathan Levine. If you’ve been wondering what Prince Akeem Joffer has been up to all these years, you’re about to find out. Read more about the Coming To America sequel below.
Deadline confirms that the Coming To America sequel is finally moving forward with a director, but this isn’t the first news we’ve heard of the film. Back in April, word broke that Paramount was developing a sequel with the original film’s writers, Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. Now comes word that Blaustein and Sheffield’s work will receive a re-write from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, who also co-wrote the sleeper hit Girls Trip. John Landis directed the original Coming to America, but the sequel will be left in the hands of Jonathan Levine, director of comedies 50/50, Warm Bodies, The Night Before and the more recent Snatched.
In the original film, Murphy played Prince Akeem Joffer, heir to the (fictional) African kingdom of Zamunda. On his 21st birthday, Akeem’s parents, the king and queen (James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair) present him with an arranged bride to wed. Fed up with his pampered lifestyle and not wishing to marry a woman he’s never met, Akeem runs off to America with his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall). Many fish-out-of-water shenanigans soon follow.
Back in 2013, Hall and Murphy discussed the possibility of a sequel on Hall’s The Arsenio Hall Show, with Murphy claiming the sequel never happened because the first film kept facing lawsuits due to a man claiming he was the real-life African prince that inspired the story. “When Coming to America came out, there was a big bunch of lawsuits,” said Murphy. “I’d be out in the club, and this African dude would roll up and say ‘I am the real prince! You stole my life from me!’ And ‘I want my money! I’ll kill you!’ There was so many lawsuits, so we were like, ‘hey!’”
Per Deadline, Murphy is expected to reprise his role, but nothing has been finalized yet. Murphy’s involvement in the project has been up in the air – back in May, he announced on his Twitter feed that he would indeed star in the film, only to later delete the tweet, claim his Twitter had been hacked, and then delete his entire Twitter account.
No word on when the possible Coming to America sequel (which should actually be called Coming 2 America or else why bother?) will hit theaters.
Source: Slash Film