They actually wanted Will Smith, but his price was too high. That and he wanted his son in the Movie. After the last movie with them in it cratered, I can see why they passed. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have seen the movie even if Will had been in it. Most sequels suck because they are not part of a story so much as they are an attempt to cash in.
As to paying one’s slaves back in the day, it made sense.
It was, in fact, not that uncommon for a slave that had meaningful skills to receive compensation up to and including the ability to buy their own freedom as well as the freedom of other slaves. It’s why so many communist nations fail, there is no incentive to do more than you have to. An artist who earns you more in a few years is more valuable than a field hand who does only what he must over a lifetime.
I’m not really sure what your definition of anti-blackness is. I don’t think communication works well if we don’t agree/know what the definition of all the words being used are. And I keep seeing groups attempting to redefine words on the fly for their own convenience which merely muddles the issue.