While fans of Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy COMING TO AMERICA may have been curious about what happened to Prince Akeem and the kingdom of Zamunda, no one could have predicted we’d actually get to see the character and regal nation on the big screen again. But over 30 years later, Akeem will make his way to the throne in sequel COMING 2 AMERICA, with a few interesting stops along the way.
COMING 2 AMERICA will bring back a lot of familiar faces, as well as introduce us to some new players like Leslie Jones, KiKi Layne and Tracy Morgan. But what else do we know about this potential comedy smash?
Surprisingly, quite a bit, with just enough mystery in the air to let us speculate how things have changed between COMING TO AMERICA and COMING 2 AMERICA. Here's what has been confirmed so far.
Does Coming 2 America Have a Release Date?
COMING 2 AMERICA is currently slated for release on December 18, 2020. As of this moment, it will directly compete with two other wide releases in that slot: Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE and Steven Spielberg’s WEST SIDE STORY.
In the extended box office picture, we should expect to see COMING 2 AMERICA compete to a certain extent with Warner Bros.’ TOM AND JERRY, as well as another Paramount film, THE TOMORROW WAR, as both of those contenders will open just days later.
What Will Coming 2 America Be Rated?
While the MPA hasn't issued an official rating on COMING 2 AMERICA's content, the film is intended to be a PG-13 product. This was stated by Eddie Murphy himself in a recent interview, and it's hard to think that if there's a clear aim for that rating, it won't be achieved.
Though, it's rather interesting news, considering that the original COMING TO AMERICA was an R-rated comedy back in 1988, which might still be close to a modern PG-13 film's content.
Does Coming 2 America Have a Trailer?
Unfortunately, we don’t have a trailer for COMING 2 AMERICA just yet. With the film’s release date being so far out, it’s a little early for any film footage, especially when the project just wrapped production at the beginning of November 2019.
It’s safe to assume that the summer season will bring us our first look at Paramount’s big ticket sequel. Though, if we were to guess, we’d say that the most likely strategy the studio will employ is to release this trailer alongside another nostalgic sequel they’ve got in-house, TOP GUN: MAVERICK, which opens on June 26.
Which Cast Members Will Return?
As COMING 2 AMERICA will focus on Prince Akeem’s ascension to the throne and return to America, obviously Eddie Murphy will return to the role himself. With married bliss and family life reigning in his Zamundian homeland, it’ll be interesting to see both how his country has changed and how he adjusts to modern America.
In COMING TO AMERICA, a good piece of the story focused on Prince Akeem’s budding romance with Lisa McDowell, the woman he couldn’t help but fall for as he made his way to New York. Shari Headley will return as the character in COMING 2 AMERICA, and we will catch up with the now-married couple.
Friends are part of what makes the journey worth the time. So, it’s a good thing that COMING 2 AMERICA will see Prince Akeem reunited with his dear companion, Semmi, played once again by Arsenio Hall.
James Earl Jones
In the role of King Jaffe Joffer in 1988’s COMING TO AMERICA, James Earl Jones was a presence to be reckoned with, while also being a wise and just sovereign. His return in COMING 2 AMERICA may not be too large of a role, sadly, as his character has been written as being on his death bed.
The owner and operator of a restaurant that McDonald’s wishes would go out of business, John Amos’ Cleo McDowell will also return in COMING 2 AMERICA. With his daughter now a member of Zamunda royalty, it’ll be interesting to see if Cleo has stayed put in Queens, or if the McDowell’s brand has found a way to expand to a country that probably doesn’t have the golden arches.
Vanessa Bell Calloway
It’s always complicated when an old flame shows up after a couple of decades. In COMING 2 AMERICA, Vanessa Bell Calloway will reprise her role as Imani Izzi, Prince Akeem’s former lover and fiancée. And she might have a connection to the film’s new antagonist, Wesley Snipes’ General Izzi.
As one of the loyal servants to the royal family of Zamunda, Oha was a good-natured source of humor throughout COMING TO AMERICA. And now, with Paul Bates rejoining the cast for COMING 2 AMERICA, we’ll get to see more of his antics in the modern day.
One has to wonder if that wide-eyed dreamer Maurice ever did make it to fries, the grill or even assistant manager at McDowell’s. Louie Anderson will help answer that question, as he’s the last recurring presence we know of in COMING 2 AMERICA at this moment.
Who’s Directing Coming 2 America?
Director Craig Brewer is on board as the director of COMING 2 AMERICA. This is his second film with Eddie Murphy, following 2019's DOLEMITE IS MY NAME. Clearly, the experience was enough for Brewer and Murphy to want to almost immediately reteam on a new project.
Previously, Craig Brewer’s directorial career netted him credits for such films as his breakout hit HUSTLE & FLOW, as well as BLACK SNAKE MOAN and the 2011 remake of FOOTLOOSE.
What Will Coming 2 America Be About?
We know a little bit about the plot of COMING 2 AMERICA, starting with the fact that the sequel will take place in the present day, 32 years after COMING TO AMERICA. Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his beloved Lisa (Shari Headley) have been married and have a daughter named Meeka (KiKi Layne).
About to be crowned king upon the passing of King Jaffee (James Earl Jones), Akeem is made to swear on his father’s deathbed that he’ll return to America in order to complete a specific task: a reunion with the son he never knew he had (Jermaine Fowler), in the hopes of bringing him home to Zamunda, where he’ll become a prince.
As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Prince Akeem and his kingdom are also in tense negotiations with a neighboring kingdom, represented by General Izzi (Wesley Snipes). If successful, the agreement will unite the two lands in harmony. But if the negotiations don’t pan out, it could mean dire consequences.
That's everything we know so far about COMING 2 AMERICA! We'll update this guide whenever new information breaks, so check back often.