Eddie Murphy hasn’t been particularly active over the last decade, but a genuine comeback could well be on the cards. After reigning as one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980s and into the 90s by headlining a series of big hits like 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle, a number of critical and commercial duds saw his standing in the industry take a serious dive.
In fact, you could make the argument that if it wasn’t for the Shrek franchise, he may have faded into obscurity entirely after enduring a number of major bombs including The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Meet Dave, Imagine That and A Thousand Words. Indeed, Murphy has only starred in four movies in the last decade, but his fifth will be looking to restore him to something approaching his heyday.
Coming 2 America arrives over 32 years after the original became an instant cult favorite, with Amazon acquiring the distribution rights to send it straight to streaming after the Coronavirus pandemic saw Paramount sell off the project. The 59 year-old is no stranger to sequels, but in a new interview, he admitted that his biggest hope is that the second outing for his quartet of characters Prince Akeem, Randy Watson, Clarence and Saul doesn’t end up tainting the reputation or legacy of the original.
“Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture. People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ All of that stuff just kind of stayed around, like Randy Watson doing the very first mic drop. The one thing that I didn’t want to do was a bad sequel to a movie that a lot of people have a lot invested. A lot of people grew up watching Coming to America. It’s special to them. So, you don’t want to taint that.”
Murphy’s Golden Globe nominated performance in Netflix’s acclaimed Dolemite Is My Name showed that he’s still more than capable of commanding the screen and dazzling viewers with a powerhouse turn, and the benefit of a built-in fanbase should see Coming 2 America draw in huge viewership numbers on Prime Video. Let’s just hope the quality of the final product matches the hype and anticipation.