There were a lot of memorable elements to the Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, but perhaps none quite as distinctive as the costumes. The elaborate royal garb as well as the New York street style worn by both Murphy and Arsenio Hall's characters in the film remain almost instantly identifiable over three decades later. Now, with production on Coming to America 2 gearing up to begin this summer, work is starting on the costumes for the sequel.
Costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for her work on Black Panther, took to social media to share photos of herself with both Murphy and Hall, announcing that preliminary fittings had officially begun.
🗣🗣GOOD MORNING MY NEIGHBORS! It’s official! Preliminary fitting for Coming to America 2 with Prince Akeem, Semmi and Oscar. pic.twitter.com/KcGbwcRXW1— Ruth E Carter (@iamRuthECarter) April 8, 2019
If by some chance you're in need of a refresher, Coming to America was released in 1988 and followed Murphy's Akeem, a pampered African prince from the wealthy fictional nation of Zamunda who rebels against an arranged marriage, choosing instead to head to America to find a new bride. Akeem's father (played by James Earl Jones) gives him 40 days to wander the U.S. but sends along the prince's faithful retainer Semmi (Arsenio Hall) as well. As one might guess, Akeem does find a woman he's interested in, but also as one might guess, hijinks ensue, including both Akeem and Semmi getting jobs at a fast food restaurant. The film received nominations for two Academy Awards at the time, one for Best Costume Design and one for Best Makeup.
There aren't many details about the plot for the sequel. It's set to be directed by Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer who will be working from a script by Black-ish creator and Girls Trip writer Kenya Barris. Barris is rewriting a script from the original Coming to America writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. Murphy is producing alongside Kevin Misher while Barris will serve as executive producer.
“After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward,” Murphy said in a statement. “We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on Dolemite, and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen.”0comments
“Craig’s ability to create a distinct cinematic world with each of his films is not only impressive, but also what made him exactly the voice and vision we needed to bring this story to life," added Barris. "From Hustle and Flow to his work with Eddie on Dolemite Is My Name, he never fails to blow me away. He is a true auteur and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Coming to America 2 is set to open in theaters August 7, 2020.