It’s Official! Eddie Murphy Will Star In ‘Coming to America 2’

Coming to America 2 officially has the green light and Eddie Murphy WILL return to reprise his role as Prince Akeem.

via Yahoo:

Paramount Pictures is setting Craig Brewer to direct Coming To America 2, finally bringing to the starting gate the sequel to the 1988 blockbuster comedy. Eddie Murphy is poised to reprise his role as Akeem, the pampered African prince who became bored of potential marriage partners in the kingdom too in awe of him, and who traveled to Queens to go undercover and find a woman with a strong will that he could respect.

Brewer just directed Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, and the star was eager to work with him again. The female empowerment theme of the original seems timely in today’s climate.

Kenya Barris is rewriting a script by original Coming to America writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield. Murphy is producing with Kevin Misher and Barris is exec producer.

In the sequel, Akeem learns about a long lost son, and must return to America to meet his unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. The intention is to bring back the original cast which includes Arsenio Hall, who played the prince’s aide Semmi; Shari Headley, who was courted by the prince when he went undercover as a fast food worker; John Amos, who played her father; and James Earl Jones, who played the king.

There is no start date, but the hope is that production begins in 2019.

“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.”

Said Kenya Barris: “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. From Hustle and Flow to his work with Eddie onDolemite 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.”

My Name Is Dolemite is wrapped, with script by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, and Murphy playing the self-made blaxploitation film star alongside Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Rock, Craig Robinson and T.I. The picture will be released by Netflix.

Brewer is repped by WME and attorney Carlos Goodman, and Murphy is WME, ML Management and Ziffren Brittenham’s Matt Johnson and Skip Brittenham; Barris is CAA, Artists First and attorney Gregg Gellman.

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‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Officially Leaves ABC

It looks like all the rumors were true. ‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris is officially leaving ABC Studios.

According to sources, Kenya is looking at a nine-figure overall deal with Netflix.

via THR:

“I’m very grateful to Patrick Moran and his team at ABC Studios, who have supported me every step of the way as I created the worlds of Black-ish, Grown-ish and now Besties. It has been an incredible ride including a Peabody and Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations, and many other accolades. But most importantly, they’ve allowed me to realize my dream of creating my own shows and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together,” Barris said in a statement Friday. “No matter what, the studio has never wavered in their support of my creative vision. Leaving is bittersweet, but between my series on the air and projects currently in development, I know I’ll continue to work with ABC Studios for a long time.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9325642b)
Karey Burke and Kenya Barris
Freeform Summit, Panel, Los Angeles, USA – 18 Jan 2018

Barris’ likely move to Netflix comes as the prolific showrunner, as exclusively reported by THR, had been actively trying to get out of his overall deal with ABC Studios, his creative home since 2015. Barris, who earned a Peabody and two best comedy Emmy nominations for his ABC comedy Black-ish, had three years remaining on the lucrative four-year deal he signed in 2017. Sources say other studios, including Warner Bros. Television, courted Barris with nine-figure offers as well. Barris, like Shonda Rhimes when she departed ABC Studios, will remain an executive producer on all of his shows. Kenny Smith has been promoted to co-showrunner alongside Jonathan Groff on Black-ish. Julie Bean continues to serve as showrunner on the Freeform spinoff Grown-ish. Groff, Smith and Bean all have overall deals with ABC Studios. The news comes months after Freeform handed out a straight-to-series order for Barris comedy Besties, which will remain on track.

Barris is a logical fit for Netflix, which is seeking what chief content officer Ted Sarandos has called a “rare class of creator” who can deliver hits that are both critically and commercially successful. Barris has proved the ability to deliver that on both the film and TV side. Also of interest to the streaming service, which is looking to satisfy its 117 million subscribers: prolific producers of content. Again, Barris delivered, overseeing a show and a spinoff (Freeform’s Grown-ish) while also developing aggressively on TV and in film.The Netflix deal follows a series of tough breaks at ABC. In March, for instance, it yanked a politically themed episode of Black-ish following creative differences between the network and Barris. At the time, ABC called the decision to scrap it a mutual one between the network and Barris, though sources say otherwise. The episode was poised to feature star Anthony Anderson’s Dre relaying his concerns about the current state of the country to his son. “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris said at the time. “Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community and I’m so proud of the series.”

First Shonda, now Kenya — ABC Studios out here losing!