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In the early 1990s, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a Wesley Snipes movie, but times have changed, and the actor’s output has fallen mostly to direct-to-DVD work in a post-Blade world. Thankfully, he’ll soon be headed to the small screen for a potentially stellar role in the action-packed NBC pilot Endgame, opposite Strike Back star Philip Winchester. Empire’s Damon Gupton was also added to the cast.
Endgame will take place in Las Vegas, where risks and heightened drama feel at home, and it will follow Winchester’s former intelligence officer Alex, who is now a top dog in the security field. His talents will be put to the ultimate test as he gets involved in a conspiracy that necessitates he take on a series of dangerous tasks to save innocent people’s lives. It kind of sounds like Human Target meets Saw, only without all the disemboweling. (Presumably.)
According to Deadline, Snipes enters the picture as a mysterious man simply called Johnson. He’s the steadfast brains behind The Game, and his attention is always on Alex and his challenges, although his behind-the-scenes work doesn’t won’t stop him from getting his hands dirty, and he’s perfectly capable of fixing any messes that pop up. I know he’s getting up there in age and all, but Snipes is not the kind of actor who should be kept inside a computer monitor-filled room, rubbing his hands together and sneering deviously. I want to see him dropkick someone.
Gupton, meanwhile, will play Cal Brown, a Vegas detective and a friend of Alex. This shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the actor, who has also played detectives in Prime Suspect, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and, most recently, Empire.
Endgame, which is being produced by Sony TV and Davis Entertainment, is the creation of Leverage co-creator John Rogers, who also put together TNT’s The Librarians. Considering how bonkers the latter series is, especially in comparison to the TV movies that preceded it, Endgame could be just the right amount of wacky high-stakes drama that Fox loves to get behind for exactly one season.
Snipes hasn’t appeared on a TV series since his Bernie Mac Show cameo in 2003, and hasn’t had a regular small screen role since the short-lived 1990 series H.E.L.P.. He made a return to widely released theatrical fare last year for The Expendables 3, and was last attached to the time travel adventure Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel, in which he would play “God of War Ah Puch.” Here’s hoping Endgame gets picked up and saves us from that.
Fun fact: Snipes was first courted by Fox for Empire’s pilot last year, but he turned it down. That show’s unpredictable success probably had a little something to do with him agreeing to take on Endgame.