Coming 2 America follows as Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem who discovers he has a son he never knew about in Queens, New York
coming 2 america
Credit: Courtesy Amazon Studios

Coming 2 America is almost here — and the movie's stars think the long-awaited sequel is coming at the "perfect time."

The anticipated follow-up to Eddie Murphy's classic 1988 comedy will debut on Amazon Prime on March 5, with James Earl Jones also returning as the beloved King Jaffe Joffer.

PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at Jones, 89, back in his regal role, one the actor exclusively tells PEOPLE is still one of his favorites to play.

“Of the countless characters I’ve portrayed, King Jaffe Joffer remains one of the most enjoyable and iconic characters I’ve had the pleasure of playing," he tells PEOPLE. "With his regal and commanding presence as the ruler of Zamunda, I reveled at bringing his presence to life for Coming to America in 1988. And now, over 30 years later, I am honored to reprise my role once again in the sequel, Coming 2 America."

"I feel it’s the perfect time for everyone to return to Zamunda!" he adds. "This powerful cast, both reuniting the original and welcoming the newcomers, represent the essence of Black Royalty. Working with Eddie Murphy has been an indelible experience and his dedication and passion for this project is truly inspiring. It means the world to me to be a part of this beloved franchise.”

Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America
| Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Coming 2 America finds Murphy's Prince Akeem Joffer about to become king of Zamunda when he finds out he has a son he never knew about in America, a Queens native named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). The movie then follows as Akeem and his buddy Semmi (Arsenio Hall) go back to America to groom Lavelle as the next crown prince, honoring King Jaffe's dying wish.

"This is the perfect time to return to Zamunda because it’s been a while since we’ve had a great comedy that everybody can enjoy," Murphy, 59, says. "Zamunda is a very funny place, and the world needs that right now."

Along with the returning cast, a new group of fresh faces elevate the sequel to new grounds, says Murphy.

"What I’m most excited about the audience seeing is how amazing this movie is," he says. "We have incredible new cast members like Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne and my own daughter, Bella Murphy, among others, who are all so funny and really brought their A-game. It's just a great picture and I’m excited to have audiences see it."

Coming 2 America premieres on Amazon Prime on March 5, 2021.