‘Coming to America 2’ is almost upon us, but the sequel we’re getting in March could’ve been completely different if Ryan Cooler had his way.
According to Eddie Murphy, Ryan tried to create a sequel of his own starring Michael B. Jordan.
In a new profile in The New York Times with his “Coming 2 America” co-star Arsenio Hall, Murphy said that he and the film’s producers “never thought about doing a sequel” to the film that follows Murphy’s Prince Akeem as he treks to America – Queens, New York specifically – to find his bride.
“The way the story ended was kind of like, ‘And they lived happily ever after.’ Then all this time passed and the movie became this cult thing,” Murphy said. “Catchphrases from the movie start working their way into the culture. Stores turning themselves into McDowell’s [where Prince Akeem worked.] I see Beyoncé and Jay-Z dressed up like the Zamunda characters for Halloween,” Murphy said, referencing the fictional African country where Prince Akeem hailed from.
But after Murphy began to receive pitches for a sequel from directors such as Coogler, he started to explore what a “Coming to America” sequel might look like.
“[Coogler] had an idea for Michael B. Jordan to play my son and he would be looking for a wife,” Murphy recalled. “I was like, then the movie would be about the son, it’s not our characters, we already did that. It didn’t come together.”
“But all that made me start thinking, maybe we should do a sequel,” Murphy continued.
“Coming 2 America” will debut on Amazon Prime Video on March 5. The comedy reunites Murphy with Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, who wrote the original film. Craig Brewer, who worked with Murphy on 2019’s “Dolemite is My Name,” directed.
The film will see Murphy’s Prince Akeem return to New York City when he discovers that he has a long-lost son in Queens.
Originally, Murphy told the New York Times that he wanted Tracey Morgan to play his son. But as the film took longer to develop, it was no longer possible because of Morgan’s age.
“I’m like, I love Tracy and he’s the funniest guy in the world. But yo, Ed, y’all about the same age,” Hall, who plays Murphy’s onscreen best friend Semmi, said.
Morgan was instead cast as one of Lavelle’s uncles.
“Coming 2 America” will bring back many of the original film’s stars, including James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos and Garcelle Beauvais.
We’ll consider the fact it didn’t happen that way a win for Black cinema. No shade to MBJ or Ryan, but from what we’ve seen the sequel is getting ready to give us everything we’ve wanted!