Bow down! Eddie Murphy is stepping back into his Prince Akeem role more than three decades after the premiere of Coming to America — this time as king. Fans got their first glimpse of the character in 32 years in a new trailer for Coming 2 America.
The first trailer for the highly anticipated sequel was released on Tuesday, December 22. Those who loved the original will recognize quite a few beloved characters in the teaser, including King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), Queen Lisa (Shari Headley), Semmi (Arsenio Hall), Cleo McDowell (John Amos) and Maurice (Louie Anderson).
Coming 2 America, which follows Murphy’s character as he returns to New York from his native Zamunda, will feature a whole host of new characters, too. Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Teyana Taylor and more have joined the cast.
The film will not be released in theaters by Paramount, as reported by Variety in November. Instead, it will be will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime on March 5, 2021.
Murphy appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in December 2019 to discuss the upcoming sequel. He noted that there was a lot of pressure on him and his costars to get it right with Coming 2 America but said that he “couldn’t be happier” with how filming went.
“A lot of people have this expectation, like people would say to me when they found out I was doing it, ‘Don’t f–k that movie up.’ So we’ve gone above and beyond what anybody would think. I’m really, really happy with it,” he told host Ellen DeGeneres at the time.
Craig Brewer, the film’s director, echoed that sentiment in an August 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“Every day we realize the legacy that we are playing with,” he said. “It is both a joy and incredibly daunting. There’s this moment that I always go back to: when we were screening [Murphy’s film] Dolemite Is My Name, I worked on Empire a little bit, so I had some of the writers come and take a look at the movie. They were all in the back row of the screening room, and Eddie and Arsenio walked in and sat down in the second row, just like old friends do … In that moment of seeing Eddie and Arsenio sitting next to each other as friends, but also seeing the younger generation pointing at them and smiling, I remember saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I guess we need them right now, don’t we?'”
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