With the majority of movie theaters in the United States either closed or unpopulated due to the pandemic (as Stephen King tweeted over the weekend, “Saturday night, 7 screens, 4 total customers including me and my nephew. I feel terrible for the film industry”), Paramount Pictures has sold the rights to Coming 2 America to Amazon Studios. It’s yet another sign, along with Disney making streaming its “primary focus,” that the theater experience won’t go back to normal for some time, if ever again.
As for Coming 2 America, the sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy Coming to America was sold by distributor Paramount to Amazon Studios for “roughly $125 million,” according to Variety. “Final details are being hammered out, sources said, including two complex consumer marketing tie-ins with McDonalds and whiskey brand Crown Royal, which are expected to transfer over to Amazon Studios with the film.” The movie, like Borat 2, will likely bypass theaters entirely and debut on Amazon Prime Video.
In the sequel, Prince Akeem is set to become king of the fictional country of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son he never knew about in America — a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle. To honor the former king’s dying wish to groom his grandson as the crown prince, Akeem and Semmi set off to America. Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and James Earl Jones are reprising their roles. Additional cast includes Tracy Morgan and Jay Pharaoh.