Coming 2 America Director Explains Amazon Prime Movie's PG-13 Rating

It's a different time and a different world than when the original came out 33 years ago.


Coming to America released 33 years ago--in 1988. A lot has changed in that time, and that's partly what Coming 2 America is about. But that also means that the original R rating didn't make as much sense for the sequel, according to director Craig Brewer.

"If an R-rated movie would work, then we would do an R-rated movie," Brewer said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "I think we still have a really hilarious movie, and we do push the boundaries on a PG-13 movie here and there. If you look at the first movie, other than the gratuitous nudity of the bathers and some swearing, it is actually rather wholesome; it's got a fairytale feel to it."

Brewer continued, "My job on set was to be the guardian of what from the original movie can be celebrated, and then what's going overboard, because we did want this movie to be its own thing."

"We didn't want to ignore the fact that Prince Akeem in the first movie left the wife that he was betrothed to through his king hopping and barking like a dog," Brewer said. "I can guarantee you that would not make it through the third draft of a script that would come through the Hollywood system today. There was always this line to judge with how far we'd go with the comedy."

"We found as we started testing it with fans of the original, we were testing it when there were Black Lives Matter protests happening in the streets, the conscience of the country was beginning to shift, and so we asked, 'How can we still be relevant to this movie, to be funny but at the same time be sensitive to racial and gender issues?'”

Coming 2 America releases on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, March 5, and stars Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, and follows Murphy's character Prince Akeem as he returns to America to find and connect with his long-lost son. Also featured are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, James Earl Jones, and Tracy Morgan.

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