The idea involved Michael B. Jordan playing Murphy's son.

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A sequel to Coming to America has been talked about for years, but there was one pitch Eddie Murphy received that helped get the ball rolling on finally making one.

In a new New York Times interview, alongside Arsenio Hall, the comedy icon shares "We never thought about doing a sequel. The way the story ended was kind of like, 'And they lived happily ever after.'" But Murphy first saw how the movie gained a wide-reaching cult status over the years, "Then Ryan Coogler, before he directed Black Panther, I meet with him and he says, I want to do a Coming to America sequel."

The director pitched the star a version where his frequent collaborator Michael B. Jordan plays his son, who'd be looking for a wife just like Murphy's Prince Akeem did in the original.

"I was like, then the movie would be about the son, it's not our characters, we already did that," explains Murphy. "It didn't come together."

EW has reached out to Coogler for comment.

Eddie Murphy; Michael B. Jordan and Director Ryan Coogler
Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images; John Sciulli/Getty Images

Ultimately everything worked out in the end for Coogler and Murphy, with the former making Black Panther, which had parallels to Coming to America like fictional African royalty having a fish-out-of-water experience in America, plus a roundabout way in which Jordan plays a prince.

Meanwhile, everything clicked for Murphy conceiving of the upcoming Coming 2 America when he saw the de-aging technology that was used on Arnold Schwarzenegger for the recent Terminator movies. He figured they'd add a scene in the era of the original Coming to America where Akeem and Semmi (Hall) have a wild night at the club. "I go home with a girl and I'm high — that was the piece we needed to start the flow," concludes Murphy.

Now, Jermaine Fowler plays Murphy's son in the Craig Brewer-directed Coming 2 America out March 5. The comedian told EW, "Eddie was the reason why I wanted to transition into acting. He's been a huge inspiration for me. All of this is really surreal."

Related content:

Coming 2 America

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