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Film News Roundup: Tracy Morgan Joins Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming 2 America’

In today’s film news roundup, Tracy Morgan and Michael Rooker book roles in major movies, and Gravitas buys “Christmas Break-In.”

CASTINGS

Tracy Morgan has signed on to appear in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” sequel as the brother of Lesley Jones’ character.

“Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is directing the project with Murphy, Kevin Misher, and Kenya Barris producing.

The 1988 original movie, directed by John Landis, starred Murphy as the charming African prince Akeem, who traveled to New York City to escape an arranged marriage. Arsenio Hall starred as his best friend Semmi with Jones as his father and Shari Headley and John Amos co-starring. The comedy was a major hit, grossing nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office.

In the sequel, Prince Akeem is set to become king of the fictional country of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son he never knew about in America — a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle. To honor the former king’s dying wish to groom his grandson as the crown prince, Akeem and Semmi set off to America. Murphy, Hall and Jones are reprising their roles.

Kiki Layne is attached to play the daughter of Murphy’s character and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones will portray the mother of Lavelle. Paramount Pictures has set a Dec. 18, 2020 release date.

Morgan also stars on the TBS comedy “The Last O.G.,” which recently wrapped its second season. Morgan is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.

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Michael Rooker has boarded Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9,” joining Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, and Helen Mirren.

Justin Lin is directing from a Dan Casey screenplay. Universal has set a May 22, 2020, release date. Diesel is producing the sequel through his One Race Films and Lin for Perfect Storm Entertainment.

Rooker’s credits include “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Mississippi Burning,” “JFK” and Tony Scott’s “Days of Thunder.” He is repped by The Gersh Agency and LINK Entertainment. News was first reported by Deadline.

ACQUISITION

Gravitas Ventures has acquired rights to “Christmas Break-In,” starring Cameron Seely, Denise Richards, Sean O’Bryan, and Danny Glover, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film will be available in theaters and on demand on Sept. 6. Directed by Michael Kampa, “Christmas Break-In” follows an energetic 9-year-old played by Seely as she anxiously awaits the holidays with just a few days left at school. When her overscheduled parents can’t pick her up, a blizzard traps her and the school’s janitor inside the building where they must fend off bad guys.

Tony Piantedosi of Gravitas negotiated the deal with David Babin of Koan on behalf of the filmmakers.

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