The gestating ‘Coming 2 America′ now has Garcelle Beauvais and Nomzamo Mbatha onboard the ensemble. The film is a sequel to the 1988 comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. Both Murphy and Hall will be reprising their roles of Prince Akeem and Semmi, respectively.
Beauvais will be returning for the sequel, as she played a royal rose bearer in the previous film. She is currently in the Syfy series ‘The Magicians’ and Freeform’s ‘Siren.’ Film credits include Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Flight,’ Roland Emmerich’s ‘White House Down,’ and Jon Watts’ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’
Mbatha is a South African actress, and it is unclear who she will be playing in ‘Coming 2 America.’ Her credits comprise of ‘Tell Me Sweet Something,’ ‘The Jakes Are Missing,’ the series ‘Umlilo,’ ‘All About Love,’ and ‘Hotel Called Memory.’
Moreover, the other returning actors are below:
- John Amos (‘Die Hard 2,’ ‘The West Wing’) returning as Cleo McDowell, the owner of McDowell’s and the father of Prince Akeem’s love interest.
- Louie Anderson (‘Baskets,’ ‘Sandy Wexler’) returning as Maurice, an employee at McDowell’s, the fictional McDonald’s-like restaurant.
- Paul Bates (‘True Romance,’ ‘8 Mile’) returning as Oha, Prince Akeem’s stiff-upper-lipped manservant and bodyguard.
- Vanessa Bell Calloway (‘Saints & Sinners,’ ‘Dragged Across Concrete’) returning as Imani Izzi, Prince Akeem’s once wife-to-be after a marriage arranged by his father.
- Shari Headley (‘All My Children,’ The Haves and the Have Nots’) returning as Lisa McDowell, Prince Akeem’s love interest and eventual wife.
- James Earl Jones (‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,’ ‘The Lion King’) returning as King Jaffe Joffer.
Here are the new actors and their roles:
- Michael Blackson (‘Meet the Blacks,’ ‘Nobody’s Fool’) in an unknown role.
- Jermaine Fowler (‘Crashing,’ ‘Sorry to Bother You’) as Lavelle, a street-savvy Queens native.
- Leslie Jones (‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Ghostbusters’) as Lavelle’s mother, a woman who had a one-night stand with Prince Akeem, leading to pregnancy.
- Luenell (‘Californication,’ ‘A Star is Born’) in a role that is under wraps.
- Kiki Layne (‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Captive State’) as Prince Akeem’s daughter, who has the burden of feeling like she is the son her father never had.
- Rick Ross (‘SuperFly,’ ‘Uncle Drew’) in an undisclosed role.
- Rotimi (‘Divergent,’ ‘Power’) in an unrevealed role.
- Wesley Snipes (‘Blade,’ ‘Chi-Raq’) as General Izzi, a man who rules a neighboring nation.
- Teyana Taylor (‘Hit the Floor,’ ‘Star’) as possibly the daughter of an African general (who could also be played by Murphy) who wants to kill Prince Akeem and marry his daughter off to Lavelle in order to gain power in neighboring Zamunda.
Also, there is the possibility Dave Chappelle (‘Chi-Raq,’ A Star is Born’) will play the character Baba. He is an old shaman from Zamunda that advises King Jaffe and later Prince Akeem.
Meanwhile, Craig Brewer (‘Hustle & Flow,’ ‘Empire’) is directing the film. Brewer and Murphy recently collaborated on Netflix’s ‘Dolemite Is My Name,’ releasing this year. Kenya Barris (‘Black-ish,’ ‘Shaft’) is rewriting a script by original ‘Coming to America’ writers Barry Blaustein & David Sheffield.
The premise of the long-awaited comedy is below:
“Akeem (Murphy) is set to become King of Zamunda but then he discovers he has a son he never knew about in America – a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle (Fowler). Honoring his father’s (Jones) dying wish to groom this son as the crowned prince, Akeem and Semmi (Hall) set off to America.”
Additionally, costume designer Ruth E. Carter (‘Selma,’ ‘Black Panther’) will be reuniting with Brewer and Murphy on this film. Production designer Jefferson Sage (‘Spy,’ ‘A Simple Favor’) and visual effects supervisor Jon Farhat (‘Wanted,’ ‘The Book of Eli’) are also onboard.
There is also another interesting tidbit to share. The film currently has the title of ‘Coming 2 America: The Quest.’
However, it is unclear if this is a working title or the new official title. It would make sense to add a subtitle so there isn’t any verbal confusion about which Coming to America movie you’re referring to.
Further, filming is currently underway and is looking to wrap November 8th. Locations include New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
Paramount will release the film on December 18, 2020.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter