The 58-year-old wanted to play Darryl Jenks in the 1988 comedy classic about an African prince from the fictional country of Zamunda who travels to Queens, New York. However, the role went to ER star Eriq La Salle.
Snipes said he was devastated when he missed the original Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall movie and was overjoyed when he got the chance to play General Izzi in the long-awaited sequel Coming 2 America.
He told the PA news agency, “I auditioned for this part during the original and didn’t get it.
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“I lost to the great Eriq La Salle, who is also a friend of mine, and I complained that I wasn’t cast.
“But loved the movie, loved the insignia, loved the production, loved the acting, loved seeing Africa in that light, it was a wonderful thing.
“I never thought it would come back and I would get a chance to make up for what I call one of the first Ls (losses) when I took the L back in the 80s, but everything worked out wonderfully. ”
He added, “Some of the cast of the first pointed out that they never thought or imagined that it would happen again and how wonderful it is.
“Some of them were nervous because it was 30 years ago, but I think they are the happiest and made the right decision.”
When Snipes pondered how the 30+ year old original film would play in front of contemporary audiences, he said, “I think it holds up pretty well.
“I think there are still some relevant topics, topics that were expressed in the original film and that are relevant today.
“I’m pretty confident that people know just as little about Africa now as they did then.
“So, unfortunately, some things haven’t changed.”
Coming 2 America will be released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, March 5th.