Warm Bodies and 50/50 director Jonathan Levine and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris are partnering up for the upcoming Coming to America 2. The 1988 Eddie Murphy classic tackles the story of fictional prince Akeem Joffer (played by Murphy) who travels from his fictional kingdom in Africa to America to find a suitable bride and queen-to-be. His trip, however, takes some unexpected twists and turns that ultimately led him to the love of his life.
Early this year, news broke out that the romantic comedy is getting a sequel after three decades, but specifics regarding narrative and other details were still uncertain given that the project is said to still be in the very early stages of development. Initial reports say that Kevin Misher will act as the producer of the sequel, which script will be written by original screenwriters David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein. Participation of original stars like Murphy and Arsenio Hall, who played Akeem's friend, Reverend Brown, are still up in the air, although latest buzz suggests that Murphy is already scheduled to sign in. Now the project is finally taking shape with this dual announcement.
The news has come courtesy of THR, who reports that Levine is set to take directorial reigns on the film, while Barris will do a rewrite of Sheffield and Blaustein's treatment. This new development in the production for Coming to America 2 is considered a big step towards the film moving forward at Paramount and eventually coming to fruition.
Both Levine and Barris have some great projects under their respective belts that make them well-suited for the planned follow-up film. Levine has helmed both comedy and romantic films in the past with notables ones like the 2011 Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Seth Rogen cancer comedy 50/50 and 2013's paranormal romantic zombie comedy film Warm Bodies. Barris, on the other hand, of course, is the brain behind the critically-acclaimed ABC series, Black-ish which perfectly blends familial, racial and comedic tropes into one well-written show. He also co-wrote this year's surprise hit, Girls Trip, which raked over $114 million at the domestic box office with just a $19 million budget.
As previously mentioned, details on the movie's narrative are still very thin with no confirmed cast members officially signed on. But if Murphy reprises his role from the first movie, it is possible timeline-wise, that he is now the ruler of his fictional kingdom with his son possibly going through the same things that he has had 30 years ago. That sounds a good premise to start if folks working on the film wants to encapsulate the same romantic-comedy feel that the original movie had but with enough creative room to craft a new and interesting story. Having said that, however the project pans out, with such a solid team of Levine and Barris working behind the scenes for the film, Coming to America 2 seems to be off to a good start.