Wesley Snipes as General Izzi in Coming 2 America (2021)

Coming 2 America now feels closer than ever and, after the release of the first trailer, excitement for the highly anticipated sequel is at an all-time high. Fans are more than hyped to reunite with Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem and the kingdom of Zamunda, but they’re probably also curious about some of the film’s new characters. One of these fresh faces will be Wesley Snipes, who’s playing the role of General Izzi, the older brother of Vanessa Bell Calloway’s hopping and barking Imani Izzi from the first film. But as it turns out, Snipes nearly played a key role in the 1988 movie.

While discussing the upcoming sequel, Wesley Snipes explained that he originally auditioned for the role of Darryl, Lisa’s rich and arrogant boyfriend, in Coming to America. Unfortunately for Snipes, he ultimately lost the role to Eriq La Salle. Despite not landing the part, the actor told EW that he still aimed to work with Eddie Murphy at some point:

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. Working with him was surreal, joyful, hilarious, and, at times, a little scary, because you know he lives in the world of funny and you want to at least be in the room. I don’t know if it was toe to toe, I’d characterize it more like riding along, and, in some cases, hanging on. If you watch his films over the years, you can tell that a lot of the comedians in some way have a residue of Eddie’s style, and I even think some of us actors from that era. He’s so great that you pick up little things, maybe it’s timing or a little look. Eddie can convey the subtleties and humor in life and materialize our inner thoughts. He can say all of the stuff that we wish we had the nerve to say.

Wesley Snipes’ dream of working with the great Eddie Murphy would eventually come true when he teamed up with the comedian for the critically acclaimed Dolemite Is My Name. Both actors would ultimately receive praise for their performances and, hopefully, they’ll bring that same chemistry to Coming 2 America.

The Coming to America sequel will see Akeem and Semmi return to New York to find the son Akeem never knew he had. In doing so, Akeem aims to honor his ailing father’s wish and groom the young man to become the next heir to the throne.

Snipes will be joining the Coming to America franchise with a number of other notable stars. This includes Leslie Jones, who will play the mother of Akeem’s son, and Tracy Morgan, who plays the young man’s uncle. Like Snipes, Morgan was also eager to team up with Murphy for a film.

With so many talented stars and a capable director in Dolemite Is My Name’s Craig Brewer, Coming 2 America has a lot going for it. The expectations for the film are sky high, but surely the cast and crew have a worthy sequel up their sleeves.

Coming 2 America hits Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2021.

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