‘Coming 2 America’: Wesley Snipes Was Rejected From Original Movie, But Eddie Murphy Was Determined To Put Him in the Sequel

Coming 2 America has been the talk of the internet since being released March 4. Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and Wesley Snipes, among others, the film was highly requested by fans of the original 1988 film, Coming to America.

Snipes was one of several new additions to the cast, although it wasn’t his first time getting involved with the franchise. He had previously auditioned for a role in the original movie, but was turned down by the casting director in favor of one of his close friends.

However, things came full circle for Snipes, as Murphy requested Snipes be included in Coming 2 America after working with him on a separate project. 

Wesley Snipes was rejected after auditioning for ‘Coming to America’ in 1988

Wesley Snipes attends The IMDb Studio Presented By Intuit QuickBooks in Toronto
Wesley Snipes attends The IMDb Studio Presented By Intuit QuickBooks in Toronto | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

RELATED: Eddie Murphy Was Initially Supposed To Play Wesley Snipes’ Role in ‘Coming 2 America’

Snipes recalled his experience auditioning for Coming to America during a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel

“I think we went to maybe four or five auditions,” Snipes said. “Me, Eric La Salle, my friend at the time. I think Mario Van Peebles, who ended up working with New Jack City. And we’re back for a number of auditions, man. You know, I thought I had it, thought I had it locked in there … and then I came up with a big L.”

Eddie Murphy loved working with Wesley Snipes on ‘Dolemite Is My Name’

Even though Snipes wasn’t able to land a role in the first Coming to America film, his luck would change. In a separate interview, Murphy noted that he wanted to include Snipes in the sequel after working with him on another movie. 

“Last year I did Dolemite Is My Name with Wesley Snipes,” Murphy told Jimmy Fallon. “And we had such an incredible time making that film and had such strong screen chemistry, I just wanted to work with him right again. We went right into this.”

He was originally supposed to play Wesley Snipes’ role in ‘Coming 2 America’

Murphy was originally supposed to play Snipes’ role in Coming 2 America, but decided not to after realizing that Snipes would be a better fit. 

“The role that he’s playing in the movie, originally I was supposed to play the General Izzi,” Murphy revealed. “I was supposed to be the General Izzi, and I was supposed to be the witch doctor, and it was like, ‘Wesley would be so much better in that role than me,’ cause Wesley can be menacing. 

Eddie Murphy loves Wesley Snipes’ versatility

Murphy noted that Snipes’ ability to handle roles in every film genre made him the perfect choice for the role.

“People forgot that Wesley could do everything,” Murphy added. “‘Cause Wesley became famous for doing them action movies and became this big action star, people forgot that Wesley can do drama. Wesley can do comedy, Wesley can do action movies … White Men Can’t Jump, To Wong Foo, Wesly is the great Wesley Snipes. … Yeah, he crushed this movie.”