Eddie Murphy on returning for Coming 2 America: “The original movie is part of the cultural zeitgeist”

Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America
(Image credit: Amazon)

Coming to America is the latest film to join the belated sequel club, with Eddie Murphy returning as Zamundan royal Akeem Joffer after more than 30.

The original 1988 movie saw Murphy’s prince leave Zamunda – and an arranged marriage – to find love on his own terms in Queens, New York. Murphy and Arsenio Hall, who played aide Semmi, famously donned make-up to appear as a number of additional supporting characters in John Landis’ comedy classic.

A sequel has been mooted for some time, but it’s finally arriving some 33 years later, with Murphy reteaming with Dolemite Is My Name director Craig Brewer for Coming 2 America. Below, you can see an exclusive new look at the present-day Akeem, taken from the upcoming issue of our sister publication, Total Film magazine, which goes in-depth on the making of the film with Brewer, Murphy, Hall and series newcomer Leslie Jones. Check it out:

Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America

(Image credit: Amazon)

Akeem and Semmi – and the multitude of bonus characters the leads played, not least the barbershop bunch –  are cemented in popular culture, which is why Murphy had no fear about making a sequel. 

“The original movie is kind of part of the cultural zeitgeist,” he tells Total Film. “It’s everywhere still. Like on Halloween, people dress up like characters from the movie… and on Christmas they run Coming to America 24 hours straight on VH1, back-to-back. And little catchphrases from the movie kind of stayed in the air.

“So the characters are still around. It’s not like it is 30 years ago [since we saw it]. You could watch it on TV every other week. So I wasn’t nervous. I was excited once we got the script right.” A full trailer has just dropped, and you can watch it below:

Coming 2 America launches on Amazon Prime Video on March 5. For much more from Murphy, Hall, Jones and Brewer, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine, which hits shelves (real and digital) this Friday, February 5. Check out the new covers below, as revealed by Jared Leto:

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(Image credit: Warner Bros/Total Film)
Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.