Wesley Snipes, who stars in the upcoming sequel Coming 2 America, had originally auditioned for the first film in the franchise, back in 1988.
Actor Wesley Snipes has revealed that he initially auditioned for the first Coming to America film before landing a role in the upcoming sequel, Coming 2 America. Snipes has lead an eventful career, much of which has involved him taking on roles in the action-drama genre and becoming renowned as vampire killer, Blade.
Despite having made a name for himself in Hollywood around the same time as acclaimed comedian Eddie Murphy, the two actors didn’t cross paths in any of their respective projects. As a matter of fact, Snipes’ popularity was arguably just beginning to really take off when Murphy was working on 1988’s Coming to America. At the time, Murphy’s status was already at such a point that actors were clamoring to work with him. Unlike his previous hits like Beverly Hills Cop and The Golden Child, Murphy had come up with the story for Coming to America and would take on numerous roles in the fish out of water comedy. The film proved to be a huge hit and would mark the start of a lengthy period in which Murphy became known for portraying a variety of characters within a single film’s plot.
While chatting with EW recently, Snipes recalled that he had actually auditioned for a role in Coming to America but hadn’t quite been able to make the cut. Not that it hadn’t been close, of course. According to Snipes, he had three callbacks but had never been able to audition for Eddie Murphy. Ultimately, the role went to Eriq La Salle, leaving Snipes eager to work with “the great grandmaster comedian Eddie Murphy” ever since. Thankfully for Snipes, he’s set to appear in the upcoming Coming 2 America as General Izzi, an accomplishment that ticks a huge career goal off his bucket list:
“I auditioned for the first Coming to America, but I didn’t get to audition in front of Eddie. After three call backs, I ended up losing the role to Eriq La Salle. But, ever since I saw that movie, I’ve wanted to work with Eddie... I wanted check the great grandmaster comedian Eddie Murphy off my bucket list.”
The role that Snipes ended up losing to La Salle on Coming to America was that of Darryl Jenks – the Soul Glo flogging fiancé of Prince Akeem’s (Murphy) love interest, Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley). Fans of the film will likely agree that Darryl was one of the film’s many comedic highlights, and La Salle played the role perfectly. But while Snipes could have been good as Darryl, it seems that in the long run, it’s better that he did miss out on getting the part. Darryl is one of the few characters not returning for Coming 2 America, and given that General Izzi was in the first film (albeit briefly), his return in the sequel should carry more weight, offering Snipes a chance to cement himself into the franchise.
It also could be argued that although Snipes missed out on being cast in Coming to America the first time around, he went on to star in Major League instead. For many, that film was where they first really became aware of the star. From that point on, Snipes’ stature just continued to grow. It has been a long road, but at last, he’s gotten his chance to star alongside Murphy in Coming 2 America. Whether the sequel can reach the same heights as its predecessor remains to be seen, but for Snipes it all seems to have worked out just right.