Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Coming to America”
Eddie’s Side of the Story
While Landis said it was Murphy’s attitude that sullied their relationship, racially inappropriate comments made by Landis’ wife might have been the true culprit. In 1988, around the time Coming to America was released, People magazine reported that crew members overheard Landis’ wife, Deborah Nadoolman, who was also the costume designer, complaining, in racial terms, about Murphy’s tardiness. When Murphy heard about her comments, the crew claimed that he was so enraged, he caught Landis, the director, not the wife, in a chokehold and demanded an apology.
Eddie told People: “John is a talented director, but we had personal differences. I don’t like him anymore, and he doesn’t like me.”
You’d probably have to get both Murphy and Landis in a room together to learn the real story. Later though, Eddie Murphy asked for John specifically to direct Beverly Hills Cop III. Landis took Murphy’s pleasant demeanor during their meeting, as an apology of sorts. He still said that Eddie was strange but exceptionally talented. Well, at least no one can argue with that.