Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy reprise their roles as Semmi and Prince Akeem in Coming 2 America.
If the COVID-19 pandemic never happened, you would be gearing up to watch Coming 2 America in the theater right now. The sequel to director John Landis' hit 1988 comedy Coming to America was a long time coming. But it took the pairing of Eddie Murphy and Memphis director Craig Brewer to make it happen. 2019's Dolemite is My Name, in which Brewer directed Murphy the legendary Blaxpoitation star, was a major hit for Netflix. Murphy had such a good experience with Brewer in the big chair he finally agreed to do the follow-up to his most beloved film.
Shooting was almost done on what was planned to be Paramount's big Christmas release when the pandemic hit last March. Filming was eventually completed in late summer, but with the theatrical business still in pandemic limbo, Paramount decided to sell the project to Amazon for a whopping $125 million. It will bow on Amazon Prime March 5, 2021.
Coming 2 America stars Murphy as Prince Hakeem, the scion of the African kingdom of Zemunda, (which now looks a lot like Wakanda without the super-science.) He has lived happily ever after with his love interest from the original, Lisa (Shari Headly). The couple have three children, all daughters, and that's a problem in patriarchal Zamunda. King Joffee (James Earl Jones) is dying, and Hakeem is set to take the throne. The King wants to solve the problem of the lack of a male heir by marrying Hakeem's oldest daughter Meeka (KiKi Layne) to the son of Wesley Snipes, who plays the warlord of a neighboring nation. But the succession plans are thrown into chaos when it is discovered that Hakeem does, in fact, have a male heir: Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), a child he fathered the first time he came to America. Now, he and his trusted manservant Semmi (Arsenio Hall) must return to the states to find Lavelle's mother, played by SNL comedian Leslie Jones. Murphy and Hall again play multiple roles, which means yes, Sexual Chocolate is happening! Peep the first trailer: