Kenya Barris, Jonathan Levine Tackling 'Coming to America' Sequel (Exclusive)
Barris is writing the new draft, while Levine has been tapped to direct.
Jonathan Levine, the director of Warm Bodies and 50/50, and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris are teaming for Coming to America 2.
Levine has been tapped to direct a follow-up to the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy, with Barris on board to rewrite the script.
The sequel has long percolated at Paramount, but it was only this spring that the studio made it official, with Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield, who penned the 1988 original, hired to write the follow-up.
Although there is no deal in place, Murphy is involved with the development of the sequel — which will be produced by Kevin Misher — and is expected to star.
John Landis, one of the biggest directors of the 1980s, helmed the original pic that saw Murphy playing Prince Akeem, who traveled from his wealthy African country to Queens in order to escape an arranged marriage and find a wife who will love him in spite of his title. Arsenio Hall co-starred as his loyal handler, while James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos also featured in the hit.
Levine won raves for directing the coming-of-age indie The Wackness as well as the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Seth Rogen cancer comedy 50/50. His other recent credits include The Night Before, which reunited him with Gordon-Levitt and Rogen (Anthony Mackie also starred), and the pilot for the Jim Carrey-executive produced Showtime series I’m Dying Up Here.
Barris’ Black-ish has received numerous Emmy nominations for its deft handling of comedy and race in America. He also co-wrote Girls Trip, the surprise hit comedy that took in over $114 million at the domestic box office on only a $19 million budget. Barris also worked on the script for New Line Cinema’s Son of Shaft, which is set to star Jessie T. Usher and Samuel L. Jackson.
Levine, who last directed the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched, is repped by CAA. Barris is repped by CAA, Principato Young Entertainment and Morris Yorn.