Coming 2 America: ‘The first black fairy-tale’ re-entry

‘Coming 2 America’ premiered on Amazon March 5, 2021. Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to Coming 2 America from Paramount Pictures. This long-awaited sequel to the iconic comedy Coming to America was launch worldwide in over 240 countries and territories on Prime Video on March 5, 2021.

Coming to America opened in theatres in 1988 to become a box office sensation achieving over $288 million in total worldwide box office gross.

The comedy was translated to over 25 languages around the globe, known in other countries as Un Prince à New York in France, Der Prinz aus Zamunda in Germany, Un Príncipe en Nueva York throughout Latin America, Il Principe Cerca Moglie in Italy and many more – to become the iconic movie we all know and love today.

Beyond its financial success, the film was a cultural zeitgeist that was not only timeless but also a proudly celebrated American comedy, making the film a go-to classic across generations.

The memorable characters and relatable story of a fish-out-of-water connected audiences around the world, which is why fans have made it a repeat-viewing over the years.

The sequel reunites Murphy with many of the original actors, including James Earl Jones and Arsenio Hall, as well a new cast that includes Blade’s Wesley Snipes, If Beale Street Could Talk’s Kiki Layne, Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones, Mbatha as a courtier and Jermaine Fowler, who plays King Akeem’s son.

Nomzamo Mbatha, an actress and producer, says she hopes the plot will particularly appeal to African women, as it’s based around changing Zamunda’s ancient laws, so a woman can rule.

She added that the film “speaks of what I want young girls from the African continent to feel – that they’re not invisible and they’re not too far, their dream is tangible – we need to open those doors for African girls and women”.

Murphy played the African prince Akeem from the mythical land of Zamunda, who finds an ordinary American bride in New York City.

The actor called it “the first black fairytale”, adding: “It was also the very first time you had a movie with black people where you had kings and queens.”

Original cast favorites from Coming to America return including King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), Queen Lisa (Shari Headley), Cleo McDowell (John Amos), Maurice (Louie Anderson) and the motley barbershop crew.

Joining this star-studded ensemble are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor, making Coming 2 America the most anticipated comedy film of the year.

Fowler, who was born in the year the first Coming to America was first released, says he hopes the film will reach a younger audience who may have thought Marvel superhero film Black Panther was the first to celebrate royal and powerful characters in a mythical African landscape.

“It’s just a generational thing, you know,” he says.

“Before Black Panther, there was Coming to America. It set a precedent, it set a standard, it opened up so many doors, it was the first of its kind to celebrate blackness unapologetically.

“We got to see black people royally, where we weren’t depicted as slaves and butlers and things of that nature, that can feel stereotypical in Hollywood for black actors at that time. It was the first of its kind and it’s amazing for me to be part of the sequel.”

“Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “Thanks to Eddie Murphy’s comedic genius along with the brilliant filmmakers, writers and fabulous cast, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this new adventure. We know audiences around the world will fall in love with this hilarious, joyful movie that will surely become a timeless favorite.”

“What could be better than a return to Zamunda? We are so excited for Amazon Studios to bring Eddie Murphy and Coming 2 America to a worldwide audience where they can laugh again with characters, they have loved for 30 years, and meet new ones that they will love for years to come,” said producer Kevin Misher.

Coming 2 America is directed by Craig Brewer, from Paramount Pictures in association with New Republic Pictures, and produced by Eddie Murphy Productions and Misher Films.

The screenplay is written by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield, with story by Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield and Justin Kanew, based on characters created by Eddie Murphy.

The producers are Kevin Misher and Eddie Murphy, executive producers are Brian Oliver, Bradley Fischer, Valerii An, Kenya Barris, Charisse Hewitt-Webster, Michele Imperato Stabile and Andy Berman.


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