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Coming 2 America - What We Know So Far

Director John Landis' 1988 effort Coming to America was a smash hit — a rom-com with a genuinely sweet love story at its center that still managed to lean heavily in favor of the "com" part of the equationHarnessing Eddie Murphy's star power and comedic chops at the height of both, the flick featured the beloved comedian as Prince Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African country of Zamunda, whose father King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) insists that his son take part in an arranged marriage shortly after his twenty-first birthday. 

Akeem, though, has other ideas. He taps his loyal servant and friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to accompany him to the one place on the globe he reckons one might find a woman fit for a future King: Queens, New York, of course. Presenting himself as a humble African student, Akeem sets out to find a woman who will love him for who he is, and not because of his royal lineage — and he finds the endeavor to be a bit more complicated than he had imagined.

The movie ended with Akeem overcoming a series of misunderstandings and the objections of his parents to marry his true love, Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley), the daughter of the kindly fast food chain owner (John Amos) who had given Akeem a job. Three decades later, we'll finally get to see what's been happening with all of these fondly-remembered characters in the belated sequel Coming 2 America. The flick will reunite Murphy with director Craig Brewer, who recently helmed the star's fantastic Netflix original film Dolemite is My Name; he worked from a screenplay by the writing trio of David Sheffield, Barry W. Blaustein, and Kenya Barris, who all collaborated on the original. Here's everything we know so far about Coming 2 America, which should serve as an excellent feel-good flick to conclude a long, challenging year.

What is the release date of Coming 2 America?

Coming 2 America was originally slated to drop in theaters on December 18, 2020, just in time for the normally-bustling Christmas movie season. This season, of course, will look just a bit different from normal, as has the rest of the year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in massive delays throughout the film and television production industry and shuttered theaters across the nation.

Fortunately, that circumstance won't keep Coming 2 America from arriving on time. Recently, the flick was acquired from studio Paramount by Amazon, which ponied up a whopping $125 million for the right to debut the film on streaming service Amazon Prime, according to Variety. The retail and streaming juggernaut has made a lot of these kinds of moves lately; it has also scooped up the long-awaited sequel to Borat, the Michael B. Jordan-starring Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse, and the Regina King starrer One Night in MiamiComing 2 America seems like perhaps the most solidly mainstream of all these acquisitions, though — and, luckily for us, Amazon will drop the film on the previously announced release date of December 18.

Who is in the cast of Coming 2 America?

Coming 2 America will feature a nice mix of returning players and new cast members, with virtually all of the first flick's main cast — plus a key supporting player or two — returning for round two. In addition to Murphy, Hall, Jones, Headley, and Amos will also reprise their roles as Semmi, King Jaffe, Lisa, and Mr. McDowell, respectively. Also appearing are Madge Sinclair, returning to showbiz after a 25 year absence, as Queen Aoleon Joffer; Garcelle Beauvais (Spider-Man: Homecoming) as a Zamundan priestess; Vanessa Bell Calloway as Imani, Akeem's intended arranged bride; and comedian Louie Anderson as Maurice, an employee at McDowell's restaurant.

Joining the cast this time around are Jermaine Fowler (Sorry to Bother You) as Lavelle, Akeem's long-lost son; former Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones as Lavelle's mother; Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G.) as Reem, Lavelle's uncle; Murphy's Dolemite is My Name co-star Wesley Snipes as Izzi, a Zamundan General and Imani's brother; and KiKi Layne (The Old Guard) as Meeka, Akeem's daughter.

What's the plot of Coming 2 America?

Coming 2 America's plot suggests that Akeem got up to some offscreen shenanigans in the first film, which should cause some interesting friction between the crown prince and his wife, Lisa. In the movie, Akeem will be in the midst of preparing to take over as King of Zamunda for his ailing father when he makes a shocking discovery: He has a son he never knew, a street-smart Queens man named Lavelle. King Jaffe, of course, insists that this young man be groomed to take over the title of crown prince, forcing Akeem and Semmi to once again travel to the Big Apple to find Lavelle and convince him to accept his destiny.

There are sure to be plenty of hilarious mix-ups, misunderstandings, and conflicts throughout, and somehow, we get the distinct feeling that there will be a fair amount of heartstring-tugging, as well. Amazon Prime subscribers will be getting a nice early holiday gift when Coming 2 America debuts on December 18, 2020.