Rumors of a Coming To America sequel have been circling for some time, but then, rumors about new Eddie Murphy projects are a dime a dozen. At various points, he's been linked to Quentin Tarantino, a Twins sequel (to be called Triplets), a new stand-up special - you name it. The excitement surrounding these rumors is a testament to our enduring love for Eddie Murphy, while the fact that they almost never pan out is a testament to how difficult it is to get him signed on to a new project.
Today's news, then, is something of a shock: according to Deadline, Murphy has signed on to headline a sequel to 1988's Coming to America. The film will be directed by Craig Brewer, who just finished working with Murphy on Netflix's Dolemite Is My Name, which is expected to arrive later this year.
The original Coming to America starred Murphy as Akeem, an African prince who travels to America to find a wife who will love him for him, rather than his immeasurable wealth and royal status. Co-starring Arsenio Hall and directed by John Landis, it's one of the funniest films ever made, and certainly in contention for the funniest film Murphy ever made. It's a stone-cold classic, in other words, which means we're as excited by the prospect of a sequel as we are nervous about it.
What will Coming to America 2 be about? Deadline says:
"In the sequel, Akeem learns about a long lost son, and must return to America to meet his unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. The intention is to bring back the original cast which includes Arsenio Hall, who played the prince’s aide Semmi, Shari Headley, who was courted by the prince when he went undercover as a fast food worker, John Amos, who played her father, and James Earl Jones, who played the king."
In the three decades since the original, much has happened that would serve as perfect comic fodder for Akeem's return trip to America. We're nervous and skeptical about this one, but mostly we're just hyped. Here's hoping Brewer, Murphy, screenwriter Kenya Barris and company serve up something that honors the original.
There's nothing further to report at this time, but Deadline says Coming to America 2 is expected to go into production sometime this year. Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.