'Coming to America' Sequel: Eddie Murphy Talks Movie With Arsenio Hall

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 12:17 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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During an appearance on the "Arsenio Hall Show," comedian Eddie Murphy said there was never a sequel to his hit movie "Coming to America" because of lawsuits.

Murphy made his comments on Tuesday with Hall, who co-starred in the movie. Hall brought up the fact that this year was the 25th anniversary of the motion picture. 

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"When 'Coming to America' came out it was a bunch of lawsuits," Murphy said. "There was some dude who was claiming he was the prince. I'd be out in the club and this African dude would roll up and say, 'I am the real prince! You stole my life from me! And I want my money! I'll kill you!'" 

There were actually several lawsuits that reached the courts, one of which was successful. The New York Times reported in 1992 that comedian Art Buchwald won $150,000 and his partner Alan Bernheim won $750,000 in Los Angeles Superior Court for their contributions to "Coming to America." 

Buchwald and Bernheim wanted a combined $6.2 million, arguing that their contributions to the film were equal to what director John Landis made.

Another man, Memphis native Laurence Armour, filed a $40 million lawsuit against Murphy, claiming the comedian used his screenplay, "The Cannibal," for "Coming to America." Armour claimed, according to Philly.com, that he sent his idea to Richard Pryor in 1986. Court papers noted that Pryor and Murphy were friends and connected to Paramount.

A third writer, Shelby Gregory, sued for $10 million, claiming his work was the source for the hit 1988 movie as well. 

"Coming to America" credits Eddie Murphy as the writer, with David Sheffield and Barry Blaustein as the screenwriters. The movie also starred James Earl Jones, John Amos and Shari Headley. Future stars Samuel L. Jackson and Cuba Gooding Jr. had small roles in the film as well.

The movie made $128.1 million in theaters in 1988.

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