Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall on Why It Took Over 3 Decades to Make Coming to America Sequel
A Coming to America sequel is almost here — and its iconic stars are revealing why it took so long.
While appearing virtually on Extra Monday evening, Coming to America actors Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall spoke candidly about the 1988 hit comedy and why it took more than 30 years for the film to get a follow-up feature.
"We never planned on making a sequel to the movie," Murphy, 59, explained. "We had done the movie and it was in the past. But the movie stayed around."
"Of all the movies that I've done over the last 40 years, Coming to America is the only one that ... has a cult following," Murphy continued. "... And then, maybe around six, five years ago, I got an idea. Then it took four years for it to come together."
Hall, 65, admitted that he and Murphy felt a lot of pressure from fans to make the film the best it could be. "Fans rolled up on you in the mall or on Twitter … 'Don't you f--- up our movie! Don't mess it up!' You have to go into it with all that in your head," he said.
The Coming to America sequel — titled Coming 2 America — will see Murphy reprise his role of Prince Akeem, and Hall as his best friend Semmi.
The sequel film finds Akeem traveling back to America to find his long lost son, a Queens native named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler).
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In a recent interview with Essence, Murphy opened up about the film's importance, telling the publication, "The legacy of Coming to America is that it is unique, it's rare."
"Black people, we don't get a lot of movies like this one. Coming to America is a romantic fantasy comedy," he said. "Usually, when we see ourselves on the screen, it's heavy things … Rarely do we get just to go see some escapism. Just to go see a movie and not have to think about any of that stuff."
"Coming to America is an all-Black cast, but the movie's not about race," the actor continued. "It's not about, having a foot in your ass or 'Wake up' or 'Keep hope alive.' It's none of those things that you can just go and sit back and watch the movie."
Murphy added: "And it's about these people and it's about somebody that's trying to find true love. It's like a fantasy, like a fairy tale. And that's the legacy of the movie that it's one of the few romantic fairytales with Black people. I think that's why we love it."
Coming 2 America is available to stream March 5 on Amazon Prime Video.