The comedy legend appeared on Friday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show and discussed the upcoming sequel to his beloved 1988 comedy Coming to America, which he just recently completed filming on. “I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” he told DeGeneres. “A lot of people have this expectation, like people would say to me when they found out I was doing it, ‘Don’t f— that movie up.’ So we’ve gone above and beyond what anybody would think. I’m really, really happy with it.”
Murphy further confirmed that he won’t just be playing Prince Akeem again, but will be reviving all of the other characters that he played in the film, while adding an “old farmer.” Joked Murphy: “Every time I do a makeup movie, I always say, ‘This is the last time I’m doing this s—… and then I always wind up back in the makeup chair.”
Also starring in Coming to America 2 will be Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, and Wesley Snipes, with Murphy reteaming with Dolemite Is My Name director Craig Brewer, who previously discussed the project with EW.
“Every day we realize the legacy that we are playing with,” said Brewer. “It is both a joy and incredibly daunting. There’s this moment that I always go back to: when we were screening Dolemite Is My Name, I worked on Empire a little bit, so I had some of the writers come and take a look at the movie. They were all in the back row of the screening room, and Eddie and Arsenio walked in and sat down in the second row, just like old friends do. And I could see everybody in the back’s eyes getting big and pointing down to both of them. In that moment of seeing Eddie and Arsenio sitting next to each other as friends, but also seeing the younger generation pointing at them and smiling, I remember saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I guess we need them right now, don’t we?’ I don’t want to sound too outrageous, but I think America needs Akeem and Semmi right now. [Laughs] I hope you know that’s sincere from me, that’s how I feel. We need them.”
Coming to America 2 opens in theaters on Dec. 18, 2020.