- Director Craig Brewer said he came up with the idea to give a hat tip to “Trading Places.”
- The Eddie Murphy comedy is also referred to in 1988’s “Coming to America.”
- “I’m still a believer that there’s a crossover movie to do with ‘Coming to America’ and ‘Trading Places,'” Brewer told Insider.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Coming 2 America” is filled with callbacks to the first movie. But there’s also a scene in the sequel that gives a shout out to another classic Eddie Murphy movie.
In the scene where Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), the illegitimate son of Akeem (Eddie Murphy), goes for a job interview, he sits down and calls the person interviewing him (played by Colin Jost) Mr. Duke. That should ring a bell for Murphy fans, but then the next moment should really drive it home when Duke tells Lavelle to only call him Calvin because “my father is Mr. Duke and my grandfather and great uncle who founded Duke & Duke.”
We then see an oil painting of Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy) and Mortimer Duke (Don Ameche) on Calvin’s wall. They are the greedy brothers who play the villains in the 1983 Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd comedy “Trading Places.” For those with a real keen eye, you’ll notice in the reception room the company sign says “D&D Digital Corporation.”
“Coming 2 America” director Craig Brewer said the scene originally wasn’t going to pay homage to “Trading Places.”
“That whole scene was going to be someone that’s not connected to the Dukes,” Brewer told Insider. “Calvin was just going to be a guy that was interviewing Lavelle.”
But then Brewer said an idea sparked.
“I thought, what if this is the company that basically sprung from the ashes of the Dukes’ doom when Akeem gave them money in ‘Coming to America,'” Brewer said.
That’s right, there’s a hat tip to “Trading Places” in 1988’s “Coming to America.” In a scene where Akeem is walking with Lisa (Shari Headley), he stops to give some “pocked change” to two homeless people. But that change is in fact thousands of dollars and it’s revealed the homeless people are Randolph and Mortimer Duke. Clearly, the two have hit hard times after going broke following the events of “Trading Places.”
Once seeing the money Randolph proclaims, “Mortimer, we’re back.”
“So it’s this full circle thing that this company Lavelle is interviewing for was basically founded off of the money that Akeem gave the Dukes,” Brewer said.
And to add to the authenticity of the scene, the oil painting on the wall was from “Trading Places.”
“We got that painting out of the vault at Paramount,” Brewer said, referring to the studio that made “Trading Places.” “They sent it to us. We just wanted to drive home that this is the Duke family business.”
Brewer has now done two movies with Murphy. Before “Coming 2 America” he made “Dolemite Is My Name” with him. Could they team up for a “Trading Places” sequel?
“I’m still a believer that there’s a crossover movie to do with ‘Coming to America’ and ‘Trading Places,’ both starring Eddie Murphy,” Brewer said.
“Coming 2 America” is available now on Amazon Prime Video.