By Nick Romano
January 11, 2019 at 04:04 PM EST
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We’ve been saying since 2013 that there should be a sequel to Coming to America and now, after a long development, it’s actually happening.

Eddie Murphy, who’s reprising the lead role of African Prince Akeem, confirmed the film is “officially moving forward” at Paramount as the studio taps a new director, Craig Brewer (Fox’s Empire), EW has learned.

“After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward,” Murphy said in a statement. “We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on Dolemite [Is My Name], and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen.”

COMING TO AMERICA, Eddie Murphy, 1988
Credit: Everett Collection

The studio initially hired Jonathan Levine (Snatched) in 2017 to direct the sequel to the 1988 comedy, but he has since bowed out. The story sees Akeem returning to America when he learns of a long-lost son and unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. Paramount is hoping the bulk of the original cast — which included Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos — will return for the sequel.

black-ish creator Kenya Barris is rewriting the script, which was penned by Coming to America writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. Fingers are crossed for production to start filming sometime this year.

“Craig’s ability to create a distinct cinematic world with each of his films is not only impressive, but also what made him exactly the voice and vision we needed to bring this story to life,” Barris said. “From Hustle and Flow to his work with Eddie on Dolemite Is My Name, he never fails to blow me away. He is a true auteur and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”

Deadline was the first to report the news.

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