The core cast of “Coming 2 America,” the sequel to the 1980s film that starred Eddie Murphy, are returning. Shari Headley, who played Lisa McDowell in the original movie, has agreed to reprise her role as Prince Akeem’s partner. She joins the rest of the original cast who are also coming back on the movie.
Headley will join Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos and Paul Bates in the “Coming 2 America” sequel. But also added in the cast are new faces to the movie like Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Jermaine Fowler, Kiki Layne and Rick Ross, per The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie, set for a Dec. 18, 2020 release, will have Prince Akeem and his best friend Semmi returning to America after learning that he has a son. As the future king of Zamunda, Prince Akeem has to bring him to his kingdom upon his father’s dying wish.
The son has yet to be cast, however, Layne is set to play Murphy’s daughter in the film. “Coming 2 America” has been in the pipeline for several years with Murphy as one of the executive producers.
Craig Brewer is directing the movie, taking the reins from Jonathan Levine who was originally attached to direct the sequel. Kenya Barris is also producing this movie that will have the first film’s writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield on board.
“Every day we realize the legacy that we are playing with,” Brewer said, per Entertainment Weekly.
“I worked on Empire a little bit, so I had some of the writers come and take a look at the movie. They were all in the back row of the screening room, and Eddie and Arsenio walked in and sat down in the second row, just like old friends do. And I could see everybody in the back’s eyes getting big and pointing down to both of them,” he added. “In that moment of seeing Eddie and Arsenio sitting next to each other as friends, but also seeing the younger generation pointing at them and smiling, I remember saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I guess we need them right now, don’t we?’ I don’t want to sound too outrageous, but I think America needs Akeem and Semmi right now.”
The 1988 movie, which John Landis directed, followed the story of a young prince who flew to New York City to escape getting marriage to a woman arranged for him. With his best friend Semmi, Prince Akeem lived a regular life and fell in love with the regular girl until his parents followed him in America as well.