In a world of remakes and comic book films, the humble sequel has taken somewhat of a backseat since … well … Taken. This, however, is about to change, with a sequel to one of cinema’s greatest comedies announced, and it looks like it’ll be going into production this year.
It’s been 31 years since the falsetto warblings of: “Let your souuuul glooooooooow” emanated from the silver screen; when a young Eddie Murphy starred as Prince Akeem in what would go down in the history books as an instant classic; a film that brought black American comedy to the mainstream, and poked fun at stereotypes long ingrained in US culture.
In Coming to America, we see Murphy’s character travel from the fictional African nation of Zamunda, to Queens, in New York, with the intention of finding true love in a bid to escape an arranged marriage back home. With his sidekick, Semmi, played by the brilliant Arsenio Hall, the prince’s adventures are hilarious to say the least, and with a single film, the ensemble cast of actors branded line after line of repeatable humour and memorable quotes into the common vernacular for future generations to laugh at, despite the films extreme ’80s aesthetics.
The sequel, which looks set to have the same actors reprise their roles, will see Akeem return to America to find a long-lost son, so that he may take reign of the kingdom back home in Zamunda. As reported by entertainment website Deadline, Murphy said, “After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward.”
“We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on Dolemite, and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen”, he continued.
Director Craig Brewer is best known for his films Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan, and Netflix’s Dolemite Is my Name, which also stars Eddie Murphy, and is due for release later this year.
The screenplay is currently being written by Kenya Barris, who offered: “Craig’s ability to create a distinct cinematic world with each of his films is not only impressive, but also what made him exactly the voice and vision we needed to bring this story to life. From Hustle & Flow to his work with Eddie on Dolemite Is My Name, he never fails to blow me away. He is a true auteur and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Kenya Barris’ writing work will be known to fans of Black-ish, for which he received multiple accolades.
Sequels have a lot of weight on their shoulders, especially when the original films are as good as Coming to America, and many of the jokes from the original might not pass muster in today’s PC-obsessed Hollywood, though with a team this talented, as well as the original cast all putting their hands up to partake, this could be one of the top films to look out for in the next year or so.