30 years after Eddie Murphy got the world reeling with his comedic genius in Coming to America, the classic hit is getting a remake. According to variety, Paramount Pictures have confirmed they will be distributing the sequel, which has Snatched director, Jonathan Levine, at the helm.
The new movie was written by Black-ish creator, Kenya Barris. Although Murphy is said to be involved in the production, no details have been provided as to his role in the new film.
Coming to America featured Murphy as Prince Akeem, an African prince and future king of Zamunda, on a mission to find love in America. He was accompanied by his trusty friend, played by Arsenio Hall. “Voice King” James Earl Jones played Murphy’s father in the film, which also starred Shari Headley and John Amos.
The first movie made over $300 million in worldwide box office earnings and has remained in circulation years after its initial release. However, first reviews were quite poor or at best mixed. But they gradually changed and now, many fans even know lines from the movie by heart.
Washington Post staff writer Hal Hinson said of the movie in a review:
In making "Coming to America," Murphy seems to have set his sights on the lowest prize imaginable. He aspires to blandness.
"Coming to America" also announced some major Hollywood stars to the world. Samuel L. Jackson got his big break on the movie and still gives Murphy credit for the opportunity. But what makes the movie tick and how come even with the changing face of comedy, many fans still hold on to this particular film?
For one thing, the movie motivated a lot of African Americans to reconnect with their African roots. Although Zamunda was a fictional state, the appeal and the cultural identity it presented found a place in African-American hearts.
Also, the film was a lot like the usual fairytales, with a royal prince going off in search of his ideal princess. Prince Hakeem defied his parents and traveled to New York to eventually find the love of his life, and African-American who was not even a royal.
The powerful images and messages in the movie are still in many ways as relevant now as they were thirty years ago. Although the producers of the new flick are not giving out any spoilers, fans of the original are eager to see what will eventually hit the big screen.
We miss the good ol days of staying up to watch Arsenio Hall. Everyone is angry anticipating Coming to America 2. C’mon we all need to laugh right now— Rich (@RichtheWol) June 26, 2018
By the way, lawsuits trailed the production of Coming to America too. Humorist Art Buchwald claimed that the idea for the film was stolen from a treatment he wrote in 1982. He won the breach of contract suit but later settled out of court with the studio.
30 year anniversary of Coming to America. "I'm very happy to be here" pic.twitter.com/bkhiCVuvOe— Ryan James (@2_Kanez) June 27, 2018
Hopefully, the past is well behind them and the new film does as good as the first, or even better.