When I spoke to “Major League” writer/director David S.Ward last year about this sequel of his (and you’ll recall we were actually the first site to confirm that a sequel was in development – and with Charlie Sheen onboard), he’d hoped to get most of the original cast back together, and that included Wesley Snipes.
Snipes, as fans of the 1989 original will recall fondly, played Willie Mays Hayes, the light-footed fast-man of the Cleveland Indians baseball team.
Snipes was replaced in the 1994 sequel by Omar Epps, largely because the studio wouldn’t give Snipes a pay rise to come back.
Recalled Ward, “[Snipes] wanted to [come back], but he had become a bigger star then, and the studio didn’t want to pay him knowing his going price had increased. I guess the studio decided that his role was secondary to Berenger and Sheen’s. Omar Epps did a really good job, but it was tough replacing Wesley – audiences knew it wasn’t the same guy.”
If it didn’t work last time, what’s to say it’s going to work this time? Alas, Ward doesn’t have much choice this time; Snipes was convicted of tax evasion in 2008 and is currently serving a three year jail term in a Pennsylvania prison, leaving him unable to reprise his role.
According to Radar Online, Charlie Sheen (that’s a ‘Winner’ right there folks!) has roped in his best friend actor Tony Todd (no, not the Candyman!) to play the role of Willie Mayes Hayes in the film, tentatively titled “Major League 3″.
“My good buddy Tony Todd will be the new Willie Mays Hayes in Major League 3,” the ex-”Two-and-a-Half-Men” star said.
Todd, who had a small role in Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show”, is “almost as good a ball player as I am” says Sheen. “And he’s perfect for the role because he’s going to have more personality than anybody that’s ever lived… except me.”
The new film, which Sheen met with Morgan Creek this week to discuss, will also see Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen and Dennis Haysbert reprising their roles.
The new film, as Ward told us in June, is set “20 years later, and Wild Thing comes out of retirement to work with this 19-year-old player. We’ve actually got three new characters in the new film. And if the new film is popular, [those new characters] could carry the franchise on.”