Kenya Barris Tapped to Write ‘Coming to America’ Sequel

By Sameer Rao Sep 28, 2017

Paramount Pictures just greenlighted a sequel to its 1988 comedy, "Coming to America," and "Black-ish" creator Kenya Barris will write the script.

Deadline reported yesterday (September 27) that the veteran "Girlfriends" and "The Game" writer and producer will rewrite a script from David Sheffield and Barry Blaustein, who penned the original film’s screenplay from star Eddie Murphy‘s story.

The comedy film with an entirely Black leading cast stars Murphy as Akeem Joffer, the heir to the throne in Zamunda, a fictional African country. Akeem upsets his family by moving to Queens in New York City to find a woman to marry. He gives up the perks of princedom and takes a job at knockoff fast food restaurant McDowells, where he falls in love with his boss’ daughter, Lisa (Shari Headley, "All My Children"). Akeem’s best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall, "Martial Law") helps him avoid his solicitous parents, Queen Aoleon (Madge Sinclair, "Pros and Cons") and King Joffer (James Earl Jones, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"), who travel to America and reveal that Akeem is a prince.

The Hollywood Reporter says Murphy, who also played several supporting characters in the movie, may reprise his original starring role for the sequel. Jonathan Levine ("Warm Bodies") will direct Barris’ script. Neither Deadline nor The Hollywood Reporter announced plot details or other potential actors.

The prospectively titled "Coming to America 2" is Barris’ latest in a growing list of future projects, including: “Libby and Malcolm,” a half-hour comedy starring Courtney B. Vance (“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”) and Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”) as politically opposed pundits falling in love; and "Grown-ish," a spin-off for the Freeform streaming network that stars Yara Shahidi as her "Black-ish" character Zoey Johnson, who experiences growing pains when she starts her undergraduate studies.