Films

15 things you (probably) didn’t know about Coming To America

Hard to believe, but it's been 26 years since Coming to America was released. Since then, its status as a cult 80s comedy has only grown and it's become arguably Eddie Murphy's most loved movie.

To celebrate the important anniversary, we've assembled 15 things you might not know about the hit film. You know, so you can impress/annoy your friends next time you watch it with them.

(Images: All Star, Rex Features)

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America

    1

    During production, the owner of a nearby McDonald's threatened a lawsuit because he believed that McDowell's was an actual restaurant

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 1

    2

    There was a Coming to America TV pilot produced with Tommy Davidson and Paul Bates but it was never picked up

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 2

    3

    Paula Abdul was behind the choreography of the dance scene

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 3

    4

    Sidney Poitier almost played King Jaffe while Vanessa Williams almost played Lisa

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    5

    Director John Landis's calling card/recurring gag "See You Next Wednesday" appears on a sci-fi poster in the subway

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 5

    6

    Press screenings were cancelled after negative reactions to an initial screening in New York

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 6

    7

    The film was nominated for two Oscars - Best Costume Design and Best Makeup

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    8

    It was the first film where Eddie Murphy played multiple characters, something he ended up doing in a lot of his films...

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 8

    9

    The film was originally going to be called 'The Quest'

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    10

    Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper has a cameo at the McDowell's party, on the right of Arsenio Hall

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 10

    11

    It was the first film to star Cuba Gooding Jr and also features an early performance from Samuel L Jackson

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    12

    James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair star was the King and Queen of Zamunda. Six years later, they also voiced Mufasa and his wife Sarabi in The Lion King

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    13

    Eddie Murphy's brother also makes a cameo appearance in the scene where Curtis Vondie-Hall is happy to see Eddie's character

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 13

    14

    Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, who previously starred alongside Eddie Murphy in Trading Places, crop up in the film as homeless guys who get given a bag of money by Akeem

  • 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Coming To America 14

    15

    A lot of the dance that is performed by the royal dancers is actually a high-tempo version of the Thriller routine. The Thriller video was also directed by John Landis.

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