Eddie Murphy Compares Coming To America 2's Zamunda To Black Panther's Wakanda

Coming To America Lisa and Akeem wave to the crowd

On the back of the triumphant Dolemite Is My Name, Eddie Murphy is poised to bring his loyal fans another movie worth celebrating, with the long awaited sequel Coming 2 America showing us what’s changed in Prince Akeem’s life a little over 30 years later.

This also means we’ll see how his kingdom of Zamunda has changed in that same span of time, and with Black Panther providing a similar utopia in recent years, folks are starting to wonder just how the two fictional nations will compare.

It’s not a crazy notion, as Eddie Murphy explained in a recent interview that for its time, Zamunda definitely filled a similar function that Wakanda did, for one very specific reason:

Most of the movie takes place in Africa and it’s Zamunda… I think the reason why [Coming to America] resonated and really worked with black folks is that it was our black fairy tale. This new movie is a fairy tale as well. It’s this fairy tale world where they have a very modern problem.

Most audience members who remember the original Coming To America probably wouldn’t have thought to call the film a fairy tale, but Eddie Murphy’s invocation of that very genre does stand up. In a sense, the John Landis directed original felt like a blend of The Prince and The Pauper and Cinderella, with Murphy’s Prince Akeem masquerading as a commoner and finding true love in New York City.

Though it does feel a bit weird to compare Coming 2 America’s Zamunda with Black Panther’s Wakanda, as there’s a big difference between what each film is trying to represent with its story. Sure enough, when pressed by IndieWire to compare Zamunda to Wakanda, Murphy had no problem further differentiated those kingdoms, and the franchises they represent, as follows:

Zamunda is 30 years before Wakanda. Wakanda is a superhero movie. And we’re not trying to compete with a superhero movie, its aesthetics, the thrill and all that. We’re doing a sequel to this fairy tale that was really, really popular all around the world. Black Panther is nowhere near as funny as Coming to America. And we’re not as visually thrilling as their picture. But look, I know what you’re saying. And the answer is yes, it’s 30 years later so it’s not going to be the same Zamunda, man, what the fuck is wrong with you?

So if you’re going into Coming 2 America thinking that Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall will be sporting the latest vibranium inventions in their latest adventure, you'll want to put those thoughts out of your mind quickly. However, that’s not to say that Zamunda won’t be an updated kingdom, as over three decades of geopolitics have undoubtedly shaped it into something newer and exciting for modern audiences to behold.

Naturally, a lot of the details about what we'll be seeing when it comes to Coming 2 America's new look at Zamunda are under wraps. That doesn't look to be coming to an end any time soon, with the film's release date set for closer to the end of 2020. But with what we're hearing so far, it sounds like fans who have always wondered what happened after Prince Akeem's happily ever after aren't going to be disappointed with the results.

And it’s all a little over a year away from becoming a reality, as Coming 2 America is set for release on December 18, 2020. Though if you want to see who else is gunning for a shot at box office glory in the next year, you can take a look at our 2020 release schedule, and start making your predictions early!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.