Snipes Tells Why He Passed on ‘Empire’

Wesley Snipes

As the story goes, Wesley Snipes was approached to play Lucious Lyon in Fox’s breakout phenomenon “Empire” before it was offered to its current occupant Terrence Howard.

In January, creator Lee Daniels confirmed Snipes as an original casting choice for the Lyon patriarch, then, explained how star Taraji P. Henson strongly suggested that her “Hustle and Flow” co-star Terrence Howard play her on-screen love nemesis, or she would bow out of her role as Cookie.
Last Thursday, Snipes told EURweb that he actually passed on the part.

“Yeah, the ‘Empire’ thing did come across my desk and it just, the combination of things and the time demands didn’t make it viable,” he told us after Thursday’s Television Critics Association panel for his upcoming NBC series “The Player.”

Asked if Lucious Lyon was a character he would’ve been interested in playing had his schedule permitted, Snipes would only say, “I could’ve walked through that no problem. Nino could’ve done that,” he added, referring to his infamous drug kingpin role in “New Jack City.”

“Lucious) would have been a refined Nino,” laughed Snipes. “If Nino didn’t die, he would’ve been Lucious.”

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