Coming 2 America cast: who stars with Eddie Murphy, Teyana Taylor and Kiki Layne in Amazon Prime comedy sequel?
Many familiar faces from the original movie return, such as James Earl Jones and Shari Headley, but there are some new cast members too
It is more than three decades since Eddie Murphy introduced Prince Akeem Joffer to the silver screen in cult 1988 romantic comedy, Coming to America.
But now the character is getting another outing, as a highly-anticipated sequel lands on Amazon Prime Video.
Once again set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, the new film – Coming 2 America – sees the newly-crowned King Akeem and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall), make another hilarious trip to New York from their great African nation.
Many familiar faces from the original movie return, such as James Earl Jones and Shari Headley, but there are some new cast members too – Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Jermaine Fowler, and Teyana Taylor to name a few.
Again, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall embrace and comfortably ease back into multiple latex-laden alter egos, appropriating the lion’s share of punchlines while co-stars Jones, Morgan and Snipes tussle over the scraps.
Here is everything you need to know about it
Who stars in it?
James Earl Jones – best known as the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars film trilogy – plays King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of the prosperous nation of Zamunda, who takes his final breath, ascending Akeem to the throne but triggering a constitutional crisis in the process.
The country’s antiquated laws forbid women from taking the throne, so Akeem’s three daughters would have to marry and dutifully serve a husband if they wish to rule once he has passed away.
KiKi Layne – star of the Oscar-winning If Beale Street Could Talk – plays eldest daughter Meeka, while big screen debutantes Bella Murphy and the 12-year old Akiley Love, play younger sisters Omma and Tinashe respectively.
But when all seems lost for Akeem’s plans to keep his lineage on the throne, an elderly shaman unexpectedly discloses that Akeem has an heir – an illegitimate son – in New York City.
Shari Headley – reprising her role from the original film – plays Akeem’s wife Lisa, to whom he bids farewell as he embarks to America, determined to protect the royal bloodline.
Jermaine Fowler plays potential heir Lavelle, a ticket tour who is thrilled to discover that he will inherit the crown, and so heads excitedly to Zamunda.
He takes his family along for the ride. Comedian, actress and former cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live Leslie Jones plays mother Mary, while 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is Uncle Reem.
But once they’re back in Zamunda, political manoeuvring complicates the coronation when the dictatorial ruler of neighbouring Nexdoria proposes an arranged marriage between his daughter and Lavelle.
Who plays General Izzi?
The nefarious General Izzi is played by Wesley Snipes (who portrayed Marvel Comics’ character Blade in the film trilogy of the same name), while his daughter is portrayed by singer-songwriter Teyana Taylor, who has made guest appearances on Kanye West tracks.
For Snipes, the role has been a long time coming; he auditioned for a part in the original film and didn’t get it.
"[I] lost out to the great Eriq La Salle, who’s also a friend of mine,” says the 58-year-old. “I lamented over the fact that I wasn’t cast but loved the movie, loved the regalia, loved the production, loved the acting, loved seeing Africa in that light, in that way. And, yeah, it was a wonderful thing.
“Never thought it would come around again, and I get a chance to make up for that, what I call one of the first Ls, when I took the L back in the eighties. It all worked out wonderfully.”
Who else is on the cast?
The ensemble cast also features plenty of bit-parts and minor roles.
John Amos (The West Wing) plays Cleo McDowell, Akeem's former employer and father-in-law and Lisa's father; Louie Anderson (Search Party) is Maurice, a mid-level employee at McDowell's restaurant; and Rotimi (Divergent) is Idi Izzi, General Izzi's son and the Prince of Nextdoria.
Elsewhere, Vanessa Bell Calloway (What's Love Got To Do With It) plays Imani Izzi, General Izzi's younger sister and Akeem's former intended bride; South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha is Mirembe, a royal groomer and Lavelle's love interest; and Luenell (Californication) plays Livia, Lavelle's aunt.
The cast also features Ghanaian/Liberian-American actor and comedian Michael Blackson, Garcelle Beauvais (NYPD Blue), the host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah, and Saturday Night Live writer, Colin Jost.
What cameos are there?
The film features a number of high-profile cameos from celebrities playing themselves.
Actor Morgan Freeman pops up as himself, Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer Davido (one of the most influential artists in Africa) is in there, as are American R&B group, En Vogue.
More musicians make an appearance, including ‘Push It’ singers Salt-N-Pepa, seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight, influential rapper and hip-hop producer Rick Ross, and John Legend, who appears in a mid-credits scene singing ‘She's Your Queen to Be’, as sang by Paul Bates in the first film.
How can I watch it?
Coming 2 America is available to stream through Amazon Prime Video now.