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A little over 30 years ago, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall made comedy history with the box office smash Coming To America. Now, a legacy-quel is on the way with Coming 2 America, the story of Prince Akeem’s eventual ascension to the throne of Zamunda.
Of course, as luck would have it, soon-to-be King Akeem has found out that he has a long lost son in America, and must return to find him and bring him into the family business. With a legacy-quel as exciting and as prolonged as Coming 2 America, there’s bound to be familiar faces returning, as well as newcomers taking their place in the cast of this exciting continuation.
Which means it’s time to run an updated cast list rundown of who’s coming back and who’s new to the game. As Coming 2 America is still in the works, we’ll have to update this rundown as developments come in. But as of this moment, here’s who we have in the film so far:
Eddie Murphy - Prince Akeem
Almost the king of his home nation, Prince Akeem is going to return to America in order to find his long-lost son, LaVelle. And naturally, Eddie Murphy will be returning to the role he made famous back in 1988. Murphy will soon be seen in the Netflix original Dolemite Is My Name, which is also directed by Coming 2 America helmer Craig Brewer.
Arsenio Hall - Semmi
For a while, everyone was wondering if Coming 2 America would bring Arsenio Hall’s Semmi back into the fold as well. Naturally, what good would this return to the world of Zamunda be without including the prince’s best friend in the world? Hall’s most recent performance was as himself in the Netflix original movie, Sandy Wexler.
Shari Headley - Lisa McDowell
With Prince Akeem marrying the love of his life at the end of Coming To America, Lisa McDowell became a part of the royal family of Zamunda. And just recently, Shari Headley was confirmed as returning to the role in Coming 2 America, alongside Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem. In addition to being a series regular on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots, Headley was also seen in last year’s Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween.
John Amos - Cleo McDowell
Another recent addition to Coming 2 America’s cast is Lisa’s father, Cleo, once again played by actor John Amos. Whether Cleo decided to stay in America to run his fast food chain, McDowell’s, or if he’s decided to franchise a store to the Zamundan people, is yet to be seen. But in either case, another returning cast member is on their way to the sequel!
James Earl Jones - King Jaffe Joffer
You might have thought James Earl Jones would have sat out Coming 2 America, but if The Lion King can get him to be Mufasa again, then clearly anything is possible. Which is exactly what happened here, as Jones will once again play King Jaffe Joffer on screen. Sadly, it’s probably not going to be a sizable role, as the king is apparently going to die soon in the world of this legacy-quel’s story, and his dying wish is apparently for his long-lost grandson to become a prince.
Vanessa Bell Calloway as Imani Izzi
Speaking of Prince Akeem's past, the most recent returning cast member returning for Coming 2 America is Imani Izzi herself, Vanessa Bell Calloway. Once betrothed to marry the prince, she was eventually spurned in the favor of Lisa McDowell. Ms. Calloway was most recently seen on Showtime's Black Monday, with roles in films like Blumhouse's Thriller and the cop drama Dragged Across Concrete also making up her recent filmography.
Wesley Snipes - General Izzi
One of the interesting additions to the Coming 2 America cast is legendary screen actor Wesley Snipes. Reported to be playing the role of General Izzi, there’s not much to know about his character at this time. However, he just might be the son of Coming To America’s Colonel Izzi, the father of the young woman who Prince Akeem was betrothed to marry in the 1988 original. Surely that failed marriage couldn’t have started a family grudge, could it?
Here’s where our casting breakdown gets a little more speculative, as we don’t have names or totally confirming details to put to the faces. That being said, SNL’s Leslie Jones has been cast in Coming 2 America, in the role of Lavelle's mother. Apparently at some point in Coming To America, Prince Akeem and Jones' character had a one night stand, and Lavelle was the end result.
Tracy Morgan - Reem
On top of having a pair of SNL legends as his parents, the character of Lavelle is going to have another playing his uncle/fellow hustler Reem. Tracy Morgan joined the cast of Coming 2 America to play this very role, which puts him in the same metaphorical room as Leslie Jones and Eddie Murphy. Morgan's casting finds him coming off of a guest spot on Jordan Peele's The Twilight Zone, as well as the lead role on TBS's continuing sitcom The Last O.G.
What we do know about Kiki Layne’s role is that she’s the daughter of Prince Akeem and Lisa’s wedded union, so she’s practically going to be a princess of Zamunda. Other than that, and the burden of not being a male heir to the empire, the If Beale Street Could Talk star’s part in the film is a mystery. Though it’s good to know someone of her pedigree will be able to help land the dramatic, as well as the comedic, components of the film’s story.
Allegedly the same sources at Collider that first pegged Leslie Jones as LaVelle’s mother have stated that Sorry To Bother You’s Jermaine Fowler will be playing LaVelle. That seems like a reasonable assumption, but we’re still not sure when that will be confirmed. Should this be the case, it’ll be interesting to see Fowler square off with Eddie Murphy after so many years of not knowing his on-screen father.
Last but not least, recording artist and Superfly actor Rick Ross will be rounding out the cast of Coming 2 America in an undisclosed role. However, it’s definitely noteworthy that Ross also did a music video with Jared Leto’s Joker for Suicide Squad; so if he could keep it together for a short shoot with that nutty funster, the man could probably knock this out of the park.
Again, as soon as any further confirmations are known pertaining to new and existing Coming 2 America cast members, you’ll want to turn to this list for those updates as they progress. For now though, this is an exciting cast that will surely be worth waiting to see on the big screen.