Riding high after the successful sequel Beverly Hills Cop II, Eddie Murphy returned to pure comedy, reteaming with director John Landis (Trading Places) to make Coming to America. Murphy played a pampered African prince who decides to travel to America to find a bride.
Released in the summer of 1988, it was an instant smash, spending three weeks as the top-earning movie at the box office. Ultimately, it made more than $288 million worldwide. What made the comedy so funny? For one thing, Murphy was teamed up with Arsenio Hall as his best friend and personal aide; both actors played multiple roles.
They were surrounded by a wonderful cast that included James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair and John Amos. Cuba Gooding Jr. made his big-screen debut and Samuel L. Jackson stood out in a small role. (Clip below is NSFW.)
Nearly 30 years have passed and now Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield, who wrote the original screenplay, have been hired to write a sequel as a star vehicle for Murphy, according to The Tracking Board.
No plot details for Coming to America 2 have been revealed yet. Blaustein and Sheffield wrote material for Murphy when they all worked together on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s and later wrote Boomerang, The Nutty Professor and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps for him.
At this point, Murphy is apparently not officially attached in any way to the project. He starred in the little-seen comic drama Mr. Church last year, which was his first film appearance in four years. Reports suggest that he’s been content to enjoy his life without making movies, so we can only hope that the eventual Coming to America 2 screenplay is very, very good and that it piques Murphy’s interest in reprising his role and returning to the big screen.