John Amos is returning for Coming To America 2. Amos, who played a pivotal part in the first film, is one of several actors already announced for the anticipated sequel.
Released in 1988, Coming to America stars Eddie Murphy, arguably at the height of the star's popularity, as the idealistic Akeem. A prince of the fictional African nation Zamunda, Akeem lives an undoubtedly coddled life. But when he finds out that his parents have arranged a marriage for him, to a woman he doesn’t know, Akeem rebels. Along with his aide, played by Arsenio Hall, the prince travels to the United States in search of a woman he can truly fall in love with. Directed by John Landis (National Lampoon’s Animal House), the story drew a lot of its humor from the dichotomy of placing pampered royalty in a far less hospitable environment. The film was a box office success and talks of a follow-up have continued, on and off, for years.
Deadline reported the news that Amos will be returning as Cleo McDowell, Akeem’s employer. He joins Arsenio Hall and Shari Headley, who played Cleo’s daughter and Akeem’s love interest. James Earl Jones will be reprising his role as King Jaffe Joffer (Akeem’s father) and Paul Bates will be appearing as Oha, a royal servant in the original film. Notable names like Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones and Kiki Layne, star of If Beale Street Could Talk, have all either joined the cast or are in talks to do so.
While details about the plot for Coming to America 2 are not yet fully known, the sequel is set to revolve around an unexpected interruption in Akeem’s life. Soon to assume the throne as King of Zamunda, Akeem learns that he has a son that lives in New York. Urged on by his father’s dying wish, Akeem has to return to America to meet his son and bring him back as the new prince of the African nation. It’s also been revealed that Murphy will play an additional, villainous role. This is in line with the original film, which received praise for the fact that Murphy and Hall played multiple characters.
A follow-up to the hit comedy has been shopped around for years. At one point, a pilot was in the works for a television spin-off though that never came to fruition. Coming To America 2, announced in 2017, and pushed back to a December 2020 release, will have the team of David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein collaborating on the screenplay once more. Craig Brewer, who worked with Murphy on the upcoming Dolemite Is My Name, is slated to direct.