The gang’s all here. Next Friday, March 5, Coming 2 America will debut on Amazon Prime starring its original cast. In the sequel to the 1988 comedy, King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) is on his deathbed and advises son Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) that he will soon take over the throne. But with a twist: Prince Akeem has a son somewhere in America.
In the original Coming To America, Prince Akeem must decide between life as a prince in his fictional African nation Zamunda, or creating a new life in the United States with a bride of his choosing. He comes to Queens to find a bride, working at a McDonald’s knock-off and falls for the owner’s daughter. Thirty-two years later, Akeem must once again travel from Zamunda to America, this time to search for what appears to be an unknown heir.
Murphy will reprise all of his roles, not just as Prince Akeem but also as barber Clarence, his customer Saul, and singer Randy Watson (Sexual Chocolate!). “We wanted to bring everybody back from the original,” Eddie Murphy said. “We have to bring [them] back from where the story left off. Me and Lisa went off happily ever after so it was like okay, how do you connect the dots? It would be kind-of funny if McDowell had opened a McDowell’s in Africa and he could be there. Who would make the most sense and how could we connect the dots the best? That’s how we picked who would be in the movie.”
When the movie premiered 30 years ago, critics had no way of knowing what a cultural phenomenon it would become, and the doors it would open for other Black stories and actors on the big screen. “America sports early appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, Eriq La Salle, and (if you look closely) Cuba Gooding Jr.,” Vulture notes. “Immediately thereafter, Murphy wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Harlem Nights, a film stocked with African-American showbiz legends and up-and-comers. Three years later, he reteamed with screenwriters Blaustein and Sheffield for Boomerang, a romantic comedy with a nearly all-black ensemble cast. And in the years that followed, he alternated Beverly Hills Cop–style action flicks with Coming to America–ish Black-oriented multi-role comedies like The Nutty Professor, Vampire in Brooklyn, and Norbit.”
Coming 2 America premieres on Amazon Prime tomorrow, Friday, March 5, and to gear up for the big day, a few of our favorite celebrities and influencers are sharing their movie merch. On Wednesday, March 3, John Legend (who has a song on the soundtrack) shared his on Instagram writing, “@zamundaroyals gave us crowns too and Luna told me that to be a king I had to point my finger and be demanding.” Gabrielle Union-Wade shared her movie screening in her backyard — sans the crown John Legend sported on Instagram — while Missy Elliot, Leslie Jones, and Garcelle Beauvais shared their crowns.
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) March 2, 2021
Below is the trailer Amazon Prime shared on Instagram. The king is coming back to Queens.
This story was originally published on February 22, 2021.