There are some roles that you couldn’t imagine any other actor playing. One of those is Geordi LaForge, chief engineer on the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That part was made famous by LaVar Burton. But one actor that auditioned for the part was in the running, and he was disappointed when he wasn’t chosen. Wesley Snipes, now well-known for Coming to America 2 and Blade, told Collider that he was close to getting the role. But while he was disappointed he didn’t get it, he said a greater actor than himself went on to make the role famous.
LeVar Burton did make the Geordi LaForge role his own, and now, looking back over the past twenty-four years since the debut of The Next Generation, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else as the engineer of the Enterprise. Had Snipes had gotten the part, it would have changed both his life and Burton’s. Snipes thinks if he’d gotten to play Geordi, he would have probably been in television more than movies.
"Because I think if I had gotten the role that 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."
Snipes performed in several movies during the run of The Next Generation, including the 1989 film, Major League where he portrayed Willie Mays Hayes, the 1991 movie, New Jack City which he headlined, and, of course, the Blade trilogy as the first movie released in 1998. Star Trek: Insurrection also released in 1998 and would have needed its chief engineer.
Fortunately, we got the Geordi LaForge we were supposed to have which also enabled us to get the wonderful movies Wesley Snipes was able to participate in. Have I mentioned the Blade Trilogy? My opinion, of course, but those are seriously good movies.