Last year was the 30th anniversary of John Landis' Coming To America - and looking back, it's a film worth celebrating. the movie is a classic comedy full of iconic moments, and while some of the references are certainly dated, it also has an of-the-era charm about it. Because of the reverence felt towards it, there has long been demand for a follow-up, and now we have official word that a sequel will be coming our way on August 7, 2020.
We've been hearing legitimate rumblings about Coming To America 2 since early 2017 when it was first reported that Eddie Murphy was interested in returning to the story of Prince Akeem of Zamunda. Initially The Night Before and Snatched director Jonathan Levine was attached to direct the movie, but a change-up arrived a few weeks ago when it was announced that Craig Brewer (Footloose, Black Snake Moan) was taking the helm. With Brewer now secured, Paramount apparently felt the time was right to plant a flag in a release date.
Initially the script for the sequel was written by Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield, the scribes behind the original Coming To America, but in recent months the work has transferred over to Kenya Barris - best known as the creator of Black-ish.
Barris is best known for his work in the TV world, but he has had some serious success in the big screen realm in recent years - having written the hit comedy Girls Trip and the trilogy capper Barbershop: The Next Cut. He is also apparently now the go-to guy for remakes/reboots/continuations, as he has also scripted the new Shaft movie that is coming out this summer, and is also now currently working on both a re-do of Uptown Saturday Night and Robert Zemeckis' The Witches.
As mentioned, Eddie Murphy will reprise his role as Prince Akeem in Coming To America 2, and the story will apparently begin with him living back at home in Zamunda. The plot of the sequel will revolve around him discovering that he has a son who is living in America, and given that he will end up being the heir to his throne, Akeem travels back to the United States to meet him.
The original Coming To America, in addition to featuring Eddie Murphy in multiple roles, featured an awesome cast that also includes James Earl Jones, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, and John Amos. It's unclear right now who will be joining Eddie Murphy in the follow-up, but that will surely be news we hear about in the coming weeks and months.
Personally, I'm just hoping that the movie finds a part for Samuel L. Jackson, who had a bit part in the original as a mugger who gets his ass kicked by Prince Akeem mid-robbery. Perhaps it will be revealed that it was an incredibly important moment in the man's life, and it caused him to dedicate himself to the straight and narrow.
As things stand right now, Coming To America 2 only has one film currently positioned as direct competition on its opening weekend, and it's an untitled Warner Bros. project that has not yet been named. Taking into consideration the August 2020 target, it's likely that we will see the film go into production some time in the second half of this year - though it's worth noting that the movie probably won't need too much post-production time to be polished and finished (it's not exactly expected to be a a CGI heavy sequel).
We'll keep you posted on all updates about Coming To America 2, and to see what's coming out in theaters between now and its release, be sure to check out our 2019 Release Calendar.