Black kings, but no politics: Murphy returns in ‘Coming 2 America’
Thirty years before “Black Panther,” Eddie Murphy’s 1980s comedy classic “Coming to America” disproved the stubborn Hollywood myth that films with Black casts flop overseas; it earned nearly $300 million worldwide.
Now that Marvel’s African superhero blockbuster has smashed that misbelief for good with its billion-dollar box office haul, Murphy has decided it’s time for a sequel: “Coming 2 America” is out on March 5.
But according to Murphy, the global success of the two predominantly Black franchises has nothing to do with any growing interest in racial politics and history, or in movements like today’s Black Lives Matter — but instead in old-fashioned, universal storytelling.
“Most of our movies, they shine a light on some social injustice or some civil unrest… (but) around the world they don’t give a shit about that,” said Murphy.
“‘Coming 2 America’ is not about any of those things. It’s just about family and love and doing the right thing and tradition.”
Murphy’s comments come as Hollywood has been launching a flood of prestigious Black cast-led movies about the civil rights movement which are hotly tipped for Oscars glory, including “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “One Night in Miami.”
Whether modern global audiences will respond to those films will be hard to gauge, with movie theaters still closed due to Covid-19. Indeed, “Coming 2 America” was made by Paramount but sold to Amazon’s streaming service during the pandemic.
Speaking at a recent press day, Murphy expressed pride that the original “Coming to America” was “the first movie in the history of movies that had an all-Black cast that was successful all around the world.”
But since then you can count “on one hand” the Hollywood films that have repeated that international success — “and you’ll have fingers left over,” said the 59-year-old star…..read more