Due for release in December 2020, the already intriguing cast of Paramount’s Coming to America sequel is making room for the incomparable presence of comedian and Emmy-nominated actor Tracy Morgan.
Murphy is reprising his original role alongside Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, and James Earl Jones, with Wesley Snipes and Leslie Jones among the new additions to the cast. The sequel follows Murphy’s soon-to-be-King Akeem as he returns to America, after learning he has a long-lost son in Queens.
Leslie Jones’ role was previously undisclosed, but EW has confirmed the Saturday Night Live star is playing the mother of Akeem’s son. Morgan, meanwhile, will play Jones’ character’s brother, a hustler named Reem.
Director Craig Brewer told EW he believes the time is right for this 32-years-later sequel, which re-teams him with Murphy and Snipes after the upcoming biopic Dolemite Is My Name. “Every day we realize the legacy that we are playing with. It is both a joy and incredibly daunting,” Brewer said, adding, “I don’t want to sound too outrageous, but I think America needs Akeem and Semmi [Hall’s character] right now.”
The premise of Coming to America 2 sees Prince Akeem (Murphy) set to inherit the throne of his native Zamunda from his dying father (James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer) when he learns of a son he unknowingly fathered back in America. Akeem returns to the U.S. to honor his father’s dying wish that he find and groom the boy—a street-wise youth in Queens named Lavelle—into his homeland’s new crown princesnkl
Akeem will once again be accompanied into the wild streets of New York by his best friend, Semmi (reprised by Arsenio Hall, who also played four other characters in the original).
The Hollywood Reporter first reported Morgan’s casting.
After eighteen years of hilariously distinctive performances on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and more, Tracy Morgan’s life and career were jeopardized in a June 2014 highway collision that took a devastating toll on the party he was traveling with. As a passenger in a high-speed rear-end collision caused by a sleep-deprived Walmart commercial truck driver, Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury and broken bones that required heavy rehabilitation and the temporary use of a wheelchair and cane.