In the latest instance of a studio offloading a wrapped film to a streaming site in response to the Covid-19 turmoil Amazon confirmed its purchase of Coming 2 America, the sequel to the 1988 hit comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, from Paramount.
The sequel follows prince Akeem as he readies to become king of the fictional African nation of Zamunda. He learns of a son he never knew about in America, so he and his trusted sidekick Semmi return to Queens where it all began, to groom him to become the next crown prince.
Original cast favourites slated to return include King Jaffe Joffer played by James Earl Jones and Cleo McDowell played by John Amos, and joining the star-studded cast are Wesley Snipes and Tracy Morgan.
The news comes just days after Disney, the theatrical behemoth that owned 40 percent of last year’s box office, announced it would restructure its business to favor streaming sites.
Earlier this year Netflix purchased romantic comedy The Lovebirds, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, and a yet-untitled Ryan Reynolds film from Paramount, and Apple acquired the Tom Hanks war drama Greyhound from Sony.
“Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios in a statement. “Thanks to Eddie Murphy’s comedic genius along with the brilliant filmmakers, writers and fabulous cast, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this new adventure. We know audiences around the world will fall in love with this hilarious, joyful movie that will surely become a timeless favourite.”
The film is slated to release globally on Amazon Prime March 5, 2021.