Da 5 Bloods, the latest Spike Lee Joint, has won considerable acclaim for its cast, particularly the performance from Delroy Lindo as a Trump-voting Vietnam vet with PTSD. But at one time, the cast of Lee’s latest movie would’ve looked very different. And while it’s safe to say that the film ended up with the right cast in the end, it’s hard not to daydream about what could’ve been – a film that would’ve featured Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, and more.
Speaking with Collider, actor Giancarlo Esposito revealed that at one time, Da 5 Bloods could’ve had a very different cast. “It was me and Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington, and Denzel’s son,” Esposito said, likely referring to actor John David Washington when speaking of “Denzel’s son.” This seems to indicate Denzel Washington could’ve played the part played by Delroy Lindo, with his own son playing his character’s son in the movie (Jonathan Majors plays Lindo’s character’s son in the film as it is now).
Esposito added that ultimately, scheduling got in the way:
“I just love and adore Spike Lee, and the messages that he created in his films that are so powerful and strong, and also because the cast he was talking to at that time. But it didn’t work out for any of us because the shoot got pushed, and Spike was wanting everyone to be there the whole time overseas when he shot it, and I was still shooting Better Call Saul, and was juggling that with Godfather of Harlem, so it didn’t work out. It was so hard for me not to be able to do that film.”
Lee and Esposito have worked together several times before, with the actor appearing in Lee’s School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and Malcolm X. The actor added that the role he would’ve played in Da 5 Bloods was the part ultimately played by Norm Lewis. The prospect of having Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Giancarlo Esposito in Da 5 Bloods sounds great, but I will say that the cast the film ultimately got – Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. – is fantastic across the board, so things still worked out well in the end.
Da 5 Bloods is now streaming on Netflix.
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