A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – wait, sorry, nope, wrong franchise. Let’s start again. Long, long ago in an era called ‘the late 80s’, Wesley Snipes was almost cast as Geordi La Forge, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation who would go on to become its chief engineer.
After the audition process for the Next Generation character wrapped, Snipes would end up losing the part of Geordi to Roots actor LeVar Burton, which he has now admitted he was pretty disappointed about.
“Not as disappointed as I was not getting the role in the first Coming To America, but that actually turned out pretty good,” Snipes recalled in a new interview with Collider in the midst of promoting the film’s sequel, Coming 2 America. “Because I think if I had gotten the role [of Geordi] I would have been in television more than film, and maybe would have been never got a chance to do everything else I’ve done.”
The Blade trilogy star added “It was close. But yeah, a greater actor than I went on to make it famous. I applaud him, my friend, great and wonderful.”
Burton would portray Geordi La Forge in seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its subsequent feature films, while Snipes’ path was imminently comic book-bound. After spending some time trying to get a Black Panther movie off the ground during the 90s, the beloved actor climbed aboard a Blade project instead, ultimately leading the cast of three slick and violent films as daywalker Eric Brooks and his alter ego.
Snipes still appears to be in good humor about Marvel’s plans to reboot the Blade films for the MCU, indicating that he’s had discussions with head honcho Kevin Feige over the years, and that he’s left the door open for his future inclusion.
“We’ve talked, man, and he always says, “Well, you know, we’re thinking about it, we’re trying to figure it out.” Then one day I saw in the news, and everybody started calling me up saying, “Hey, Mahershala is going to be playing the new Blade.” I was like, “Well, I guess Kevin didn’t have my number. Okay.” So I actually don’t know. You know, I’m always willing to rock with anyone who wants to rock with me, you know? We’re doing similar work. We have wonderful product that we will bring to market, and if I can rock with Marvel, that’s great. If I can’t rock with Marvel, all right. You know? I’ll wait by the door. I’ll just put on some nice heels and a nice skirt and something. I’ll just wait by the door and say, “Hi Kevin.”
Coming 2 America stars Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, Teyana Taylor and James Earl Jones, and includes a must-see performance from Snipes. The film is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.