Friday, April 23, 2021

Royal Rumble

Royal Rumble

Eddie Murphy and a star-studded cast return to a beloved story in “Coming 2 America.”

When “Coming to America” arrived on big screens in 1988, audiences were captivated by the story of Prince Akeem Joffer of Zamunda — who travels to Queens, New York in search of a bride. Starring Eddie Murphy, the fish-out-of-water tale follows Akeem, heir to the throne of a paradisiacal African kingdom, and his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) as they encounter a colorful cast of characters in their country and the United States. 

More than 30 years later, the sequel “Coming 2 America” brings endless laughs as the pair embark on a new adventure: returning to Queens in search of the son Akeem never knew he had, so that he can someday put a male heir on the throne. Most of the original cast returns, including James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos, and Louie Anderson. Joining this star-studded ensemble are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor. 

Said Murphy: “In our first film … an African prince travels to America to find a regular girl and he brings her back to make her his princess. It’s a modern fairytale that a lot of people love and also, it was the very first time they ever had a movie with Black folks, where you had kings and queens. This film is a really cool continuation of that story and I want people to have a great experience while watching it.” 

James Earl Jones, who reprises the role of King Jaffe, says, “Of the countless roles I’ve played, King Jaffe remains one of the most enjoyable and iconic characters I’ve had the pleasure of portraying. With his regal and commanding presence as the ruler of Zamunda, I reveled at bringing King Joffer to life … in 1988. And now, over 30 years later, I am honored to reprise my role for ‘Coming 2 America.’ It means the world to me to be a part of this beloved franchise. Working with Eddie Murphy has been an indelible experience. This powerful cast, both reuniting the original and welcoming the newcomers, represent the essence of Black royalty.” 

Hall also reflected on his role. “The thing I love about playing Semmi is that he’s so totally different from me,” he said. “We have different egos and dispositions towards life. Semmi is that guy who’s always around and even though he’s a pain in the ass, no one ever thinks about getting rid of him. Everybody’s definitely on his case, though.” 

As far as the perfect time to take movie goers back to Zamunda and Queens, Eddie Murphy sums it up in a few words: “This movie is funny and it also has sweet, emotional moments, too. It’s escapism, its entertainment and everybody needs a good laugh. I’m really proud of how this picture turned out. ‘Coming 2 America’ is a breath of fresh air.”

Eddie Murphy stars in COMING 2 AMERICA Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2020 Paramount Pictures
Shari Headley, Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy star in COMING 2 AMERICA Photo: Annette Brown © 2020 Paramount Pictures
Shari Headley and Eddie Murphy star in COMING 2 AMERICA Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2020 Paramount Pictures
Paul Bates stars in COMING 2 AMERICA Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2020 Paramount Pictures
Shari Headley and Eddie Murphy star in COMING 2 AMERICA Photo: Annette Brown © 2020 Paramount Pictures
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