Spike Lee Sought Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, And Giancarlo Esposito For ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is out on Netflix right now, and it’s justifiably earning a ton of great reviews for its timely look at race, brotherhood, and sacrifice. The cast he put together is also getting its share of praise, with Delroy Lindo earning possible awards buzz, along with Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Chadwick Boseman, and Jonathan Majors. And while nobody is going to complain about that group, Lee initially targeted a cast of A-listers that would’ve been simply amazing.

Speaking with Collider, Giancarlo Esposito, a Lee favorite since School Daze in 1988, revealed that he was nearly part of Da 5 Bloods cast. Not only that, but Lee wanted him to be joined by Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, and his son, Tenet star John David Washington…

“It was me and Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington, and Denzel’s son,” Esposito revealed.

Goddamn!  Spike would’ve been putting together one Helluva reunion there. Sadly, it never came to be, and it seems the issue was about scheduling which is a damn shame…

“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,” said Esposito. “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.”

Oh, what might have been. Da 5 Bloods is still a must-see film right now on Netflix.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.