If the long awaited Coming 2 America At the premieres on Amazon Prime Video on March 5, fans of the 1988 blockbuster comedy will be delighted when many familiar faces return, from stars Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall to father characters James Earl Jones and John Amos. But there is at least one thing viewers habit see. Speaking to the New York Times, Murphy and Hall reveal that an early draft of the script contained a MAGA-related joke that they cut from the film prior to filming.
The gag in question would have taken place in the Queens establishment, which served as the location for some of the funniest moments in the original film. After Prince Akeem (Murphy) moved from the fictional African nation of Zamunda to New York City to find a bride, he visits a nearby barber shop and meets his staff and customers, including the eternally arguing duo Clarence and Saul – both from which, thanks to the make-up magic of Rick Baker, are also played by Murphy.
Murphy will repeat these two characters in Coming 2 Americaand an early version of the script written by the actor’s longtime associates David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein black Creator Kenya Barris – would have exposed her surprising political leanings. “There was one design the hairdressers had on MAGA hats and it turned out to be Republicans,” Murphy says. “But it wasn’t because they were for Trump – they were supporters of Herman Cain.”
Of course, Cain ran against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election and briefly led the field before ending his campaign on sexual harassment charges. He later became co-chair of Black Voices for Trump during the former president’s re-election campaign and attended a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last summer. Shortly after that rally, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and died of complications from the virus in July. (The Trump campaign then denied that he contracted the virus at the event.)
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Ultimately, Murphy and his co-writers felt that the Cain joke wouldn’t stand the test of time. “We thought it was funny, but it will date the film if we do,” he tells the Times, Baker’s make-up, on the other hand, remains timeless. (Baker, who retired in 2015, didn’t work directly on the sequel.) “We aged her nicely,” he says. “You’re supposed to be in your late 80s, early 90s. When I saw the first one, I was amazed at how young we looked – the skin is tight.”
Speaking of ages, other rundown storylines from early drafts of the script included the casting of Tracy Morgan as the son of today’s King Akeem. “I love Tracy and he’s the funnest guy in the world,” Hall noted. “But you, Ed, you are about the same age!” (Morgan still appears in the film as the uncle of Akeem’s actual son, played by Jermaine Fowler.) Murphy also says he and the writers decided to delve into a scene with a pair of horny Zamunda goatherds. “”[They] had a fight over a goat and it was very funny but it culminated in one of these guys [had sex with] this goat. It was like having James Earl Jones in this movie – let’s keep it all classy! “
Coming 2 America Premiere on Amazon Prime Video on March 5th