It’s hard to believe, but Coming 2 America is coming our way next year. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are back as Akeem and his trusted confidante Semmi, this time with Dolemite Is My Name director Craig Brewer behind the camera. Now, the first batch of photos have arrived to give us a glimpse of the comedy sequel. You’ll be happy to see some other familiar faces returning as well, including the lively old barbershop men who are somehow still alive over 30 years later.
Coming 2 America First Look Photos
Coming 2 America isn’t just bringing us back to Queens with Akeem and Semmi, but also back to the fictional African nation of Zamunda. Shari Headley is looking incredible too as Akeem’s princess Lisa McDowell, and they’ve got three daughters of their own, including one played by KiKi Layne.
Clearly the nation hasn’t lost their penchant for pageantry and fine fashion, and the rose bearers still have a job, with Garcelle Beauvais leading the way. We’ve also got James Earl Jones still alive and kicking as King Jaffe Joffer, but sadly, it’s likely that he won’t be around too long since Akeem is slated to become the king in this sequel.
Just as we only stayed in Zamunda for a short time in the original Coming to America, the sequel won’t stay there long either as we head back to Queens when Akeem learns he fathered a son (Jermaine Fowler) with a local woman (Leslie Jones). As you can see, Akeem wastes no time getting back into his original New York fashion, though we’re not entirely sure why since he learned how to dress like a normal New Yorker in the original movie.
Akeem’s loud wardrobe isn’t the only thing from Queens that’s coming back. All of the old barbershop guys from the original are back, two played by Eddie Murphy, one played by Arsenio Hall, and another played by Clint Smith. Interestingly enough, both of the characters played by Eddie Murphy are pictured here, Clarence in the center and Saul on the far right. But I’m wondering if that’s a stand-in wearing full make-up for Saul or if this is a final shot with visual effects putting Eddie Murphy in the shot twice.
Craig Brewer confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Akeem is dealing with trouble brewing with a neighboring nation who is upset about something Akeem didn’t do in the first movie. The warring nation is led by Wesley Snipes, and they’re likely upset that Akeem didn’t marry their princess to bring the countries closer together.
There have been rumblings that Eddie Murphy is also playing a general who wants to kill Prince Akeem and then marry his own daughter to Zamunda’s next heir, Akeem’s surprise son, but we’re thinking that’s the role that might have ended up going to Wesley Snipes instead. Presumably we’ll find out whenever the first trailer hits.
Though these Coming 2 America first look photos look great, there’s something that Craig Brewer said about the sequel that is a little worrisome. Over at EW, the director said:
“Know we designed this movie to push some buttons, but we also designed it to be a family viewing thing. My 12-year-old watched it the other day and loved it. It’s for the whole family. The thing about Coming to America is it’s been on TV so much that a lot of kids have seen it even though the movie was rated-R. The night before, do Coming to America if you haven’t seen it already, but you don’t need to.”
I’m not sure how I feel about that. While the original Coming to America was indeed R-rated, it’s not nearly as raunchy as many of today’s R-rated comedies. There’s brief nudity in the beginning and several f-bombs throughout. So while it’s possible that a PG-13 sequel could still be just as funny, I would have preferred that they didn’t try to make this for the whole family just because kids have seen it censored on TV. Eddie Murphy’s family comedies have left a lot to be desired, and after he made such a great R-rated comedy with Dolemite Is My Name, I was hoping that he and Brewer would do the same with Coming 2 America.
Here’s to hoping we’ll be pleasantly surprised when Coming 2 America hits Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2021.
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