US-based Ghanaian comedian Michael Blackson and American singer Teyana Taylor have joined the cast of Paramount’s sequel of Coming to America, which will also see Emmy winner Louie Anderson reprise his role as Maurice.
Eddie Murphy will return as Prince Akeem, who is set to become King of Zamunda when he discovers a son he never knew about in America — a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle. Honouring his father’s dying wish to groom this long-lost son as the crowned prince, Akeem sets off for America with his right-hand man Semmi.
Arsenio Hall is set to reprise his role as Semmi, while James Earl Jones and Paul Bates will also return as King Jaffe Joffer and Akeem’s faithful servant Oha, respectively. Joining them will be Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, KiKi Layne, Rick Ross and Jermaine Fowler, who will play Lavelle.
Layne will play Akeem’s daughter, who according to The Hollywood Reporter, is burdened with feeling like she’s the son her father never had.
Leslie Jones will play Lavelle’s mother, according to sources, who add that Murphy may be playing more than one character in Coming 2 America, including an African general who wants to kill Prince Akeem and marry his daughter off to Lavelle in order to gain power in neighbouring Zamunda. Take that with a grain of salt for now, but Murphy has obviously done it before.
Meanwhile, Taylor and Blackson’s roles have yet to be confirmed.
In the original 1988 movie, Anderson played Maurice, an employee at McDowell’s, the fictional McDonald’s-like restaurant where Prince Akeem worked. It’s unclear whether poor Maurice is still working at McDowell’s 32 years later, or if he’ll cross paths with Akeem elsewhere.
Craig Brewer is directing the sequel, which will be titled Coming 2 America. Murphy is producing with Kevin Misher and Kenya Barris, and production is slated to start later this month, as Paramount will release the movie on December 18, 2020.
Blackson’s previous film credits include Next Friday, Meet the Blacks, and Nobody’s Fool, and he’ll soon be seen in Last Friday, 16 Bars the Movie, and The House Next Door. He’s represented by ICM Partners.