Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall make a return trip from their African home to Queens, New York in Coming 2 America, the long-awaited sequel to the 1988 original, and the new film’s trailer hits many of the expected marks.
Amazon Studios, which acquired the film from Paramount, will release it domestically via Amazon Prime Video on March 5.
Many of the gags in the trailer (watch it above) stem from the actors playing dual roles. They are not only King Akeem (Murphy) and his confidante Semmi (Hall) from the fictional nation of Zamunda, but also, thanks to the magic of cinema, hair and makeup, two wisecracking barbers in a barbershop.
The setup for the encore trip to New York is provided by James Earl Jones, who plays Akeem’s father. “Before I am gone,” he says, he wants Akeem to know that his throne must be passed to a male heir. “Akeem, it appears you have a son — he must be found.” Akeem replies, “Prepare the royal jet — we’re going back to America!” and the scene promptly shifts to New York.
The barbershop takes up the last third of the trailer, with jokes flying and Murphy back in a familiar place in his Hollywood career, riffing while inhabiting multiple characters. Murphy’s Clarence, the barbershop owner, and Hall’s Morris, a barber, are reprised from the original film, which was directed by John Landis.
Paramount plans to release the sequel select international territories. The transaction was one of the biggest ones prompted by Covid-19 limitations in 2020. Paramount also shipped off comedy Lovebirds to Netflix earlier in the year.
Craig Brewer directed Coming 2 America. The screenplay was written by Kenya Barris and Barry W. Blaustein & David Sheffield. Murphy and Kevin Misher are producers.
The cast also includes Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley and Wesley Snipes.