Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America Sequel Heads To Amazon Due to COVID Uncertainty
Eddie Murphy's Coming to America sequel is reportedly heading for a streaming release.
According to a report from Deadline, the long-anticipated sequel to the 59-year-old actor's 1988 comedy film will forgo movie theaters altogether amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will instead be sold by Paramount Pictures to Amazon Studios.
The deal is reportedly worth roughly $125 million and the expected streaming premiere date for the film is scheduled for later this year on Dec. 18, Variety adds.
Per Deadline, the agreement marks the second deal between Paramount and Amazon, following their acquisition of the film Without Remorse, which is an adaptation of the Tom Clancy bestseller.
The first Coming to America film followed Murphy as the African prince Akeem, who travels to New York City to escape an arranged marriage and find a wife who will love him despite his royal title.
In the sequel, viewers will find Akeem as he is set to become king of his African nation, when he discovers that he has a child he never knew about in America – a son named Lavelle. So, honoring his father’s dying wish to groom this son as prince, Akeem and his right hand confidant Semmi, played by Arsenio Hall, set off to America once again.
The film will see the return of James Earl Jones, while Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones and Wesley Snipes join as new characters.
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Last December, Murphy opened up about the comedy classic and its sequel, which will premiere more than 30 years after the original.
"I’m just over the moon with how it’s turned out," the actor said of the film’s progress, while in discussion with Antonio Banderas (his former Shrek voice castmate) for Variety‘s "Actors on Actors" video series.
"I don’t know what it is about that movie, but that’s the one movie that I’ve done that, like, on Halloween people dress up like the characters, and people always say lines from that movie to me," Murphy added.
The move by Paramount comes about as movie theaters across the globe continue to deal with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, Regal Cinemas — the second-biggest movie theater chain in the country — announced that they are temporarily suspending operations as the film industry continues to grapple with the current health crisis.
The business move was made after a number of high-profile blockbusters had their release dates postponed or switched to a digital rollout amid the pandemic.
Similarly, Christopher Nolan's Tenet also underperformed at the box office after debuting at select cinemas that are open, making the digital release format all the more desirable for movie studios as people continue to stay home.
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