They say you can’t go home again. But occasionally, thanks to Hollywood magic, you can. Well, virtually, at least. Last week, “Coming to America” fans got to do just that when Amazon Prime dropped “Coming 2 America,” the long-awaited sequel to the 1988 comedy classic. According to The Wrap, the flick “became the most-watched streaming film since movie theatres closed due to COVID-19 nearly a year ago,” proving that the tale of loveable Zamundan royal Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) and his faithful sidekick, Semmi (Arsenio Hall), is timeless. Something else that appears to be timeless? Murphy, Hall, and their co-star Shari Headley (aka Akeem’s wife, Lisa), who seem not to have aged a day since filming wrapped on the original 33 years ago!
Set in the fictional African nation of Zamunda as well as Queens, New York, the new film sees freshly-minted king Akeem briefly returning to the states to track down his long lost son, Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler), and bringing him home to prepare him to become heir to the throne. Though the original movie was lensed in New York and Los Angeles, “Coming 2 America” was shot entirely in Atlanta, Georgia and its environs.
The film’s most memorable locale is easily the opulent Zamundan palace where Akeem lives with his family. The bad news? It doesn’t actually exist. Quite a bit of location trickery was employed to create the fictional estate. For many of the segments involving the Joffers’ pad, producers utilized a massive mansion about 15 miles outside of Atlanta.
Known as “Villa Vittoriosa” (Italian for Victorious Villa), the property has quite the celebrity pedigree. The sprawling residence, which boasts 12 bedrooms and 21 bathrooms in an incredible 44,234 square feet, was originally built in 1994 for four-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield.