Wesley Snipes stopped by Sway’s Universe a couple of days ago to talk about his new book Talon of God primarily, but dropped a few other interesting tidbits during the 25-minute conversation, including what could’ve been a New Jack City sequel. Specifically, the actor shared that he was approached to make a follow-up to the 1991 film “a couple of times,” to reprise his role as Nino Brown, but he turned it down each time because, as he said to Sway, he didn’t want to “glamorize… the drug dealer.” He then added that he actually had “major problems” with the character from the very beginning, and initially turned down the role when he was approached for the first film because “that wasn’t where my head was at… I didn’t feel that was where our people needed to be at… we had enough images of us being drug dealers and degenerates and un-humanly, and I didn’t want to contribute to that.”
So what changed his mind? He continued, “But when I thought of the performance aspect of it, the character, then I’m looking at, hmm… Scarface was dope. And then I thought, hmm, maybe we can make this work.”
But he clearly wasn’t interested in revisiting the character a second time. One can only imagine how much more money he might have turned down (assuming he was offered more for a potential sequel, which is typical). But I think it’s great when a performer chooses principle over profit. It seems so rare in this industry.
Snipes also talked about really wanting to work with Denzel Washington again; the two led Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues in 1990, and haven’t been seen on screen together again since then. Snipes says he’s actually approached Washington a number of times about them making another film together, but, according to Wesley, Denzel apparently hasn’t been interested for whatever reason.
When Sway pressed Snipes on why they’ve only made one film together, comparing them to Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, the actor replied: “Ask D. on that one,” with a smile on his face, obviously suggesting that Sway ask Denzel that question.
“Man I’ve come to D. so many times… when was the last time you’ve heard D. say, ‘Hey Wes come and do a movie with me.’ He hasn’t said that. I’ve stepped to him many times boy […] That’s my man, but D. wassup? You working with Ryan Reynolds, come on!”, he said with a laugh.
But Snipes says he’s ready, which is quite obvious, putting it all in Washington’s lap. Will they ever work together again? We can only hope. And now that Snipes has essentially throw down the gauntlet, let’s see if word gets back to Denzel and he accepts the challenge. I think fans want to see them on screen together again.
The conversation eventually came back to what Snipes really wanted to talk about, his new book, Talon of God. On that front, he shared that the novel makes up for the failure that was the 3rd Blade movie. And when Sway asked whether the book will be adapted for the big screen, Snipes replied, “Yeah. By the grace of the most high.”
Emphasizing the cinematic nature of the world and characters fleshed out in the novel, Snipes clearly intends for a Talon of God movie. Much has to happen to make it so – notably finding the necessary financial backing, given how ambitious the story seems to be (I have yet to read the novel, but I will, and will share my thoughts on it afterward).
It’s been a long time since his launch as an action movie star with Passenger 57 in 1992, a period of years when Snipes’ career seemed primed for flight; and while he’s done a number of *smaller* pictures since his release from prison in 2013, as well as a bit part in The Expendables 3, the actor is due for a proper big screen return. Sadly, unless there’s something brewing that we don’t already know about, he doesn’t appear to be in very much demand at the studio level, with no new high profile projects announced since The Expendables 3. He’s repeatedly said that he’d love to return as Blade, should Marvel bring the character back, or any other superhero that he’d be well-suited to play. But I think a return as Blade is highly unlikely for him. Marvel chief Kevin Feige did reveal last month that we certainly haven’t seen the last of Blade, but he didn’t share specifics. Whenever the character is rebooted, I’d assume that Marvel will start fresh, and a younger actor will very likely be cast to play the part.
Watch the conversation with Sway in both videos below: