Coming 2 America, the long-awaited sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 romantic comedy, will be premiering on Amazon Prime in March 2020 and VIBE has the first look at Wesley Snipes and Teyana Taylor in their roles as General Izzi and his daughter Bopoto.
In the sequel, Murphy’s Prince Akeem is now a King who has had three daughters with his wife, Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley) but discovers that he fathered a son back in the United States. However, it appears that he still has some unfinished business to attend to in Zamunda.
“We’re just paying a visit to the neighbors. That’s all,” Snipes tells VIBE of General Izzi, giving context to this first look photo. “He’s a diplomat. We were being good neighbors. We didn’t bring coffee, we brought Kalashnikovs.”
If the name Izzi sounds familiar, Colonel Izzi (Calvin Lockhart) was the father of the bride, Imani Izzi (Vanessa Bell Calloway), who Prince Akeem was supposed to marry in the original. “We’re not playing no games,” Teyana Taylor further clarifies of the scene captured in the photo. “I just think my father Izzi wanted to make some things really clear to King Akeem. To make sure there wouldn’t be any more misunderstandings that maybe happened 30 years ago.”
Snipes, who worked with director Craig Brewer and Murphy on 2019’s Dolemite Is My Name, was more than happy to work with them again and fulfill a longtime dream. Back in the ‘80s, Wesley auditioned for the role of Darryl, The Soul Glo heir, that eventually went to Eriq La Salle.
“What was different this time was I was more familiar with Eddie and the tempo and with Craig and how he approaches filmmaking,” he says of working on Coming 2 America. “So, that gave me a little more latitude to play with the character and be confident with some of the choices that we were going to make. And the idea that I was doing what I actually wanted to do thirty years prior was just overwhelming, man. I took Dolemite because I had been wanting to work with Eddie for those many years. But when this one came around I was like, ‘If you sit by the river long enough you just might get lucky.’”
Snipes had a ball working with singer and actor Taylor and teased a musical collaboration that audiences are sure to love. Teyana, who wasn’t born when the original premiered in theaters, is still in awe of the experience of working with Hollywood royalty.
“We have father and daughter conversations over text and I can hear General Izzi’s voice over the text,” she says of working with Snipes. “He sent me voice notes a few times, too. He’s always in his character. I love that. That’s my boy. And it’s a true honor, too. There was a scene where I had one line, the very first scene I had with him, and I couldn’t remember this one line for the life of me. I was nervous, excited, and overwhelmed because I’m in a scene with Wesley Snipes as my father introducing me to Eddie Murphy. I enjoyed every bit of the experience. It was dope and I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”
Coming 2 America premieres on March 5, 2021, on Amazon Prime.