‘Coming 2 America’: Arsenio Hall Wasn’t a Fan of Eddie Murphy Wanting Tracy Morgan To Play His Son in Sequel

Eddie Murphy’s long-anticipated sequel to the 1988 classic comedy Coming to America is finally here. Set 30 years after the events in the original film, Coming 2 America features Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprising their roles as African royalty going on an adventure in the United States.

The star-studded film also includes some of the top comedians of today, such as Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, and Leslie Jones. Morgan was a shoo-in for a role in Coming 2 America because Murphy is a big fan of his work, although Morgan’s role is a bit different from Murphy’s initial vision for him.

According to Hall, Murphy wanted Morgan to play his long-lost son in the film. However, Hall strongly advised against the decision, claiming that it would mess up the movie. 

Arsenio Hall says a lot of people had doubts about the ‘Coming to America’ sequel 

Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy on stage at the JDRF's Annual "Finding A Cure: A Love Story" Gala
Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy on stage at the JDRF’s Annual “Finding A Cure: A Love Story” Gala | Beck Starr/WireImage

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Hall talked about the development of Coming 2 America during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show. He noted that many fans of the original movie were skeptical about a sequel being made.

“We were at a screening, and a young lady from Entertainment Tonight—who’s a friend of Eddie’s—I’m standing, listening to this conversation, and Eddie says, ‘Yo, we getting ready to do Coming to America 2,’ and she says, ‘Is that a good idea?’ And I’m like, ‘Woah.’”

Unfortunately, she was far from the only person who expressed concerns about a second movie being made. 

“One day we’re getting coffee at Starbucks, and Eddie tips this lady $100, which should have made her say the right thing. She had just read about Coming to America 2, and as we walked out, she said, ‘Don’t f*ck up my movie!’”

He hated Eddie Murphy’s idea to have Tracy Morgan play his son in ‘Coming 2 America’

Because fans had such high expectations for the Coming to America sequel, Murphy and Hall knew they to be careful about how it was made. However, in the early stages of development Murphy called Hall and pitched him an idea for the film that seemed a bit outlandish. 

“When the second script came about, he called me and I’m like, ‘I like that idea, of the fact that you possibly had sex with somebody and we got really high and took ecstasy, or whatever the initial idea was,’” Hall said. “And then he looked at me and said, ‘And check this out. You know how I love Tracy Morgan. Tracy will be my son.’”

Hall was not a fan of Murphy’s idea, because he felt that nobody would think the story was believable. 

“It froze me, ‘cause I’m like, ‘Yo motherf*cker, Tracy, y’all look about the same age, you and Tracy … We’re messing up already …” Hall said. 

He tried to be polite with his criticism 

Because of the immense amount of respect he has for Murphy, Hall tried to be kind with his response to the idea. 

“ And with Eddie, sometimes I’m kind of—you try to do things with a certain decorum … So I didn’t just say, ‘I hate that idea,’ I said, ‘Hey, maybe for number three, Morgan Freeman can be your son. We can go find him.’ You say something funny.”  

Arsenio Hall still wanted Tracy Morgan in the film

Regardless of his feelings about Morgan playing Murphy’s son, he felt that Morgan had to be included in the film. 

“But we knew Tracy should be in it, because he is as funny as the day is long, Tracy is hilarious,” Hall added. “He’s great to have on a set. They should hire Tracy even if he’s not in a movie, to just be on the set.”