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America’s Most Wanted Sequel- ‘Coming 2 America’ Exclusive Details Released

by Betti Halsell

Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and the Coming 2 America cast share the exclusive details of America’s most wanted sequel.

As the buzz grows around the release of the feature, the audience is reminded of Prince Akeem’s (Murphy) gleaming smile and the uncertainty of his right-hand man Semmi (Hall), arriving in Queens in search of true love. Murphy and the rest of the cast had a roundtable discussion about the movie’s production and where the story is picking up after 30 years since the original masterpiece became an American treasure.

Three decades later, the movie takes the audience back to Zamunda where Prince Akeem is getting ready to take the throne as king when, suddenly, the news of a son has bubbled up from across the pond – back in New York. Prince Akeem has learned that he has a male heir. He travels to the land of Queens, for the second time, to try to start a relationship with his child.

The press conference unveiled that the majority of the original cast will be sprinkled throughout the highly anticipated sequel, including James Earl Jones as Akeem’s father and Shari Headly as Lisa, the leading lady. Other characters revisiting the African romance include Paul Bates, Vanessa Bell Calloway, John Amos, Louie Anderson, and Garcelle Beauvais. Multiple characters Murphy and Hall played in the original, such as Randy Watson, Clarance, and Rev. Brown, will be spreading the nostalgic magic over the film.

However, there are some unexpected twists in the Prince’s happily ever after, keeping the viewer fully entertained all the way through the story. With new pieces of the puzzle come new faces, shaking up the plot. Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Teyana Taylor, and many others are looking to thicken the international love affair.

During the round table discussion, Murphy elaborated on the different character options – who they decided to bring back and the new roles they introduced. According to Murphy, when comedy legend Dave Chappelle heard about the sequel, he was elated and wanted to find a way to be in the film. The role laid out for him was going to be of the “Witch Doctor”. Unfortunately, the scheduling between Chappelle and production did not align. Hall ended up playing the character.

Murphy also confirmed the script went through 3 drafts to “strengthen the string of the narrative.” The fresh take on the film is looking to have an explosion of comedy gold. The movie was described as the “Mount Rushmore of comedic talent.”

Jones will be the twist that thickens the plot to the point where it boils over. She shared her excitement about working with such a phenomenal crew. Within the film, they gave her full range to exercise her acting chops. The actors admits to being allowed to do some pretty “stupid” things. Murphy chimed in and said Jones was extremely comical in the film.

Resuming his royal duties in Zamunda, Prince Akeem is about to be crowned king over the land, when the unexpected news that he has a son, a royal oat from his sowing days, has sprung up. The King -to-be and Semmi head back to America where it all began. Continue following the journey into the unknown levels of royal fatherhood with Prince Akeem on March 5, streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Zendaya Talks Starring in Upcoming Blockbuster ‘Dune’

The Spiderman star is opening up about playing Chani in the upcoming feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, Dune.

The movie is taking the audience on a journey past the stars. The film explores a new frontier of fate that tethers all living creatures to one moment of existence. Those tuning in, observe Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a “gifted” young man born into a narrative of great power. Atreides prepares to take on a perilous mission and save his people. Along the way, he must face all of his greatest fears. 

Zendaya plays the voice of reason, encapsulated in the character, Chani. She is seen mostly through the consistent visions of Atreides through his expedition.

ZENDAYA as Chani and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE"
(L-r) ZENDAYA as Chani and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release.

Zendaya says there is a certain wisdom to that character, which she resonates with. She told Statenews,

“I’ve always been called an old lady since I was born,” she shared, “I’ve always been Grandma, and I think that (Chani) has that wise spirit. I think part of both of us having to grow up in a more adult space and always constantly working with people who work are so much older than us or having to be thrown into situations where you’re the youngest one in the room, I think causes you to grow up a little bit faster.”

Set in a futuristic era, the audience is free to experience a world where prophecy rules the nature of the galaxy. The only thing familiar in this narrative is the authority of human emotion. 

It took over $160 million to create this world, under a shared production of Legendary Entertainment, Villeneuve Films, and Warner Bros. Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean) scored the music for the film.

Other iconic talents sharing the screen with Zendaya are Rebecca Furgeson (Mission Impossible,) Jason Momoa (Aquaman,) and Oscar Issac (X-Men: Apocalypse.)

The previously noted source recorded Zendaya stating, “That’s what I love about this film. There is so much going on. There is so much to talk about and just to look, to hear. There are so many things, like metaphors. We’ve talked about it a million times, but something as simple as a relationship between a mother and a son.”

Watch Dune on Friday, October 22.


Betti Halsell, senior writer at HM

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Christian J. Simon Talks ‘Under Wraps,’ Comedy and Disney Legacy

Best known for his role as Max’s best friend Leo in family comedy Sydney to the Max, Christian J. Simon is now starring in a reboot of Disney Channel’s first original movie, Under Wraps. Just in time for Halloween!

The story follows small-town teen friends Gilbert (Simon), Marshall (Malachi Barton), and Amy (Sophia Hammons), who accidentally revive and release a 4000-year old mummy in the days leading up to Halloween.

At first terrified, the friends quickly learn that the Mummy, who they affectionately name ‘Harold,’ is actually nice and in dire need of assistance. A group of criminals captures and intends to sell the mummy. To save the life of their friend, the trio has to come together, face their fears, and rush to return Harold to his sarcophagus before midnight.

Christian J. Simon, Malachi Barton, Sophia Hammons in 'Under Wraps'

We chatted with Christian, a rising comedic star, and talked about the movie, the legacy of Disney, and what it means to be a part of it.


HM: Tell us about your character, Gilbert.

CS: Gilbert loves to have a good time. He is smart, funny, gets scared very easily; he doesn’t like horror movies, which is funny because he is the total opposite of his best friend Marshall, who’s always pushing him to face his fears.

HM: What was the scene you enjoyed filming the most?

CS: Every scene was fun to shoot. There was something in every scene. But I remember how fun the car scenes were, and I say the last scene. I’m not gonna say too much cause y’all gotta tune in.

HM: How familiar were you with the original movie?

CS: No, I didn’t know what Under Wraps was when I got the audition. And I actually ended up watching it after I booked the job with my castmates in Vancouver, Canada. Which I think was great cause it was after we already put our own spin on the characters and what we thought they would be.

HM: With Disney as a brand known for creating a lot of original movies and you are a part of this legacy, which has a lot of significance to generations coming after you. How does it feel to be a part of this legacy?

CS: It feels amazing. I grew up watching Disney Channel, so to be on a network like this and [do] not just one but two things. Oh gosh, God is so good! I say to all kids out there, keep working hard and don’t give up. If you believe in something and have something that you wanna do, don’t stop. You gonna face a lot of rejection [for] whatever you choose to do. But you gotta let it be fuel for your fire and keep going and know that you can do it.

Watch our full interview above, and make sure to check out Under Wraps on Disney+ on Friday, October 8.

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Denzel Washington Brings New Drama to Macbeth

A new level of visual art was showcased through the freshly released teaser of The Tragedy of Macbeth. Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington brings his omnipresent demeanor to the modern depiction of the play, interpreted by film producer Joel Coen (Money Talks). Oscar-winner Frances McDormand is co-starring alongside Washington Oscar and many other theatrical titans. 

The Tragedy of Macbeth is sizing up to premiere as the solo work of Coen, who worked with his brother, Ethan Coen, and produced past scenic projects together. Coen announced his redirection in focus back in August. 

Acting heavyweights in the drama genre are playing iconic roles such as Lady Macbeth, played by McDormand, and Lord Macduff, embodied by Corey Hawkins (The Walking Dead). 

The melancholic footage provided to the public worked as a small savory bite before the full course of the project, arriving in theaters on December 25, before streaming on platforms like Apple+. It was heavily passed along and re-shared on Twitter this past Tuesday. 

The New York Post captured McDormand stating, “In Joel’s adaptation, we are exploring the age of the characters, and in our adaptation, the Macbeths are older. Both Denzel and I are older than what is often cast as the Macbeths. We’re postmenopausal, we’re past childbearing age. So that puts pressure on their ambition to have the crown. I think the most important distinction is that it is their last chance for glory.”

Washington is seen in the new teaser, implementing his signature smirk, leaving the audience with enough suspense to brush up on the Shakespearean knowledge of the story. The feeling of finding out more about this portrayal is at an all-time high. The film will set the tone for the New York Film Festival on September 24. 

Watch the official trailer below.


Betti Halsell, senior writer at Hollywood Melanin

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