Eddie Murphy is signed on to star in a sequel to Coming to America, with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris working on the script and Craig Brewer directing.
In the original 1988 film, Murphy played Akee, the prince of a fictional African kingdom who visits New York to find a woman to marry and runs into Shari Headley's Lisa McDowell, who proves stronger than he expected. In the sequel, he discovers he has a lost son and has to return to America to meet the heir to the Zamunda throne.
According to Deadline, Paramount is hoping to reunite Murphy with the rest of the original Coming to America cast, including Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos and Headley. The studio hopes to start production at some point this year.
Barris is working from a script by original Coming to America writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. John Landis, who directed the original, does not appear to be involved.
Murphy and Brewer recently finished filming Dolemite Is My Name, a Netflix movie in which Murphy plays the late comedian Rudy Ray Moore. Brewer also directed the acclaimed 2005 movie Hustle and Flow, 2006's Black Snake Moan and the 2011 Footloose remake.
“After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward,” Murphy said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”
Barris also praised Brewer'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," adding, "From Hustle and 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.”
Coming to America 2 could be the start of a comeback for Murphy, who has stayed away from the big screen ever since his 2012 movie A Thousand Words flopped. In 2016, he made Mr. Church, a drama that also earned negative reviews and only saw a limited release before hitting home video.0comments
Aside from signing on to Coming to America 2, Murphy's life off the screen has been busy. In late November, he became a father for the 10th time after fiancee Paige Butcher welcomed their second child together. Max Charles Murphy, whose middle name is a tribute to Murphy's late brother Charlie, made his public debut in a Christmas photo Murphy's eldest daughter, Bria, shared on Instagram.
Photo credit: Paramount