It’s been 32 years since Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall became box-office royalty in “Coming to America.” Now they are ready to reprise their roles as Prince Akeem and his trusty friend Semmi. One could say they are also “primed,” as the sequel “Coming 2 America” is going to drop on March 5 on Amazon Prime Video.
Without giving too much away, Prince Akeem is preparing for life as a king, but there’s trouble on the horizon with a neighboring country because of something Akeem did or did not do in the first movie. He also finds out that he has a son in America that he didn’t know he had.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Craig Brewer was asked why he’d revisit these characters three decades later. He simply said, “In the world we’re living in right now we could use some Akeem and Semmi in our lives.”
Brewer admits the cast and crew giggled like schoolchildren when Murphy and Hall walked into the barbershop as their old barbershop characters.
“The crew grew up on ‘Coming to America,’ so they’re trying to be professional, but they’re just trying to bite their cheeks so they don’t smile the whole time. And you’ve got to remember that Eddie and Arsenio haven’t done this in more than 30 years, and now they’re just cracking jokes and having a blast – and this is even after they’ve been in eight hours of makeup,” said Brewer.
Newcomers to Akeem’s inner circle in “Coming 2 America” include Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross and Wesley Snipes, while returning alums include Shari Headley, John Amos and James Earl Jones.
Early reviews call the movie a “nostalgic celebration,” and unlike the R rating in the original, “Coming 2 America” is considered fit for the family – especially the ones living in Queens.
We really do need them now more than ever.