Coming 2 America is finally available to stream on Amazon Prime. More than 30 years after the classic Eddie Murphy film first debuted, fans are returning to the fictional African country of Zamunda and catching up with Prince Akeem (Murphy) and his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall). This time, Wesley Snipes’ sinister General Izzi will take the stage.
Though the first film was about Akeem trying to avoid his arranged marriage and find love for himself in Queens, New York, the second film is about him being introduced to Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), the son he never knew he had.
Was Wesley Snipes in the original ‘Coming to America’?
Snipes and Murphy worked together for the first time in the 2019 critically acclaimed film Dolemite is My Name. However, the Blade actor desperately wanted to be in Coming to America when it first debuted in 1988.
Back then, Snipes auditioned to play Darryl Jenks the “Prince of Soul Glo.” However, the New Jack City star did not snag the role. In the original film, Darryl was portrayed by Eriq La Salle, and he was Lisa McDowell’s (Shari Headley) overbearing and oily boyfriend.
Now, Snipes had made his dreams of being a part of the franchise come true, and he was most thrilled to be able to be in proximity to James Earl Jones, who plays Akeem’s father, King Jaffe Joffer.
“I’m giddy as a pig at Fatburger,” Snipes told the Daily News. “I’m telling you, I’m happy. I wanted to be a part of that so bad, and James Earl Jones was in the original. For us theater thespians, he was an icon.” He added,
The idea of being close to him, just enough to breathe, to listen, to have him breathe on me, was super exciting, and it was quite disappointing when I didn’t get cast in the first film. But you sit by the river long enough, sometimes you’ll see opportunity float by, and 30 years later here I am, and here it is.
Inside Wesley Snipes’ role in ‘Coming 2 America’
In Coming 2 America, Snipes plays General Izzi, Akeem’s main adversary and the ruler of Nextdoria who tries to form a sinister alliance with Zamunda by trying to marry off his son Idi Izzi (Rotimi) to one of Prince Ahkeem’s daughters, Princess Meeka Joffer, (Kiki Layne) and later attempting to bond his daughter, Bopoto Izzi, (Teyana Taylor) with Lavelle.
“He is a diplomat. An ambassador,” Snipes explained. “Also a tyrant, and an autocrat, but he’s also a dancer and he’s also a singer. … He does a lot of different things, and he’s there basically to make ends meet and right some wrongs that Mr. King of Zamunda did to his family in the past.”
Wesley Snipes’ net worth is $10 million
Snipes was one of the most prominent actors in the ’90s, with roles in movies like the Blade trilogy and White Men Can’t Jump. However, just two years after the Blade trilogy’s release, Wesley Snipes was charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. government with his income taxes.
He was sentenced to three years in prison, and upon his release in 2013, he was required to pay $17 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties to the IRS. Since his release nearly a decade ago, Snipes has been acting non-stop.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, the actor has rebuilt his wealth and net worth to the tune of $10 million.
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