Spoilers for Coming 2 America lie ahead, so tread lightly.
After over 30 years of waiting, Coming 2 America finally arrived this past week, and it managed to give fans just about anything they could have asked for. Not only did the Eddie Murphy-led reunite the original cast, but director Craig Brewer was also able to give fans a burst of nostalgia while adding some fresh elements. Amid everything fans love about the first film, viewers really enjoy the incredible dance sequences choreographed by Paula Abdul and, for the sequel, legendary choreographer Fatima Robinson carried on that proud tradition with some impressive numbers of her own. While Robinson is pleased with her work on the film, there is one scene she wishes hadn’t been cut down in the editing room.
Fatima Robinson has done more than her fair share of movies over the course of her extraordinary career, from fan-favorite comedies like Norbit and This is the End to acclaimed dramas like Dreamgirls and Charlie Wilson’s War. With this, Robinson is aware that certain moments can be cut in order to serve the story. When I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robinson, she revealed that one of Coming 2 America’s key scenes was shortened in post-production:
The dance numbers were much longer, especially the funeral scene. So I’m super bummed that that got chopped on the editing room floor because it really was an amazing dance number. It’s a long movie, but the story is super important. And so I think when I watch it again and see how it all flows together, it makes sense. I hope there’s an extended version one day that allows the dance to really live.
Those who have seen Coming 2 America know the funeral scene is one of the most extravagant moments in the film. Ahead of his death, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) asks that Eddie Murphy’s Akeem throw him a massive funeral that he can witness before he passes on. Akeem agrees, and the ceremony becomes an immaculate send-off, which features a major dance sequence and performances from En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa and Gladys Knight. While the dance number was exciting in the finished film, one can imagine that Fatima Robinson included a number of other elaborate elements that would further amplify them.
We don’t know much about what else didn’t make the final cut of Coming 2 America, though Eddie Murphy did reveal one scrapped idea. If he’d had his way the Klump family (from The Nutty Professor) would have made an appearance.
As Fatima Robinson says, it would be cool to see an extended cut of Coming 2 America that shows the funeral scene and the other dance numbers in their entirety. Any additional content from those moments would only enhance the movie-viewing experience for the audience.
Coming 2 America is now streaming on Amazon Prime.