Did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio almost landed a role in the Star Wars prequels? Creator and director of the trilogy, George Lucas wanted the actor for a key role. The two did meet, but Leonardo DiCaprio, who was riding high on the success of Titanic at the time, ultimately decided to pass. Who did George Lucas want this super hot star to portray? You probably already guessed it. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio almost played Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader.
Why did Leonardo DiCaprio pass on the role? It's the same reason he's passed on quite a few tentpole blockbusters. He claims he just wasn't ready to take on the responsibility of such an iconic character in what was sure to be a franchise blockbuster. You may have noticed, but the man doesn't have many of those on is resume. Speaking with Shortlist magazine, Leonardo DiCaprio revealed the following when asked if he was in talks to play Anakin Skywalker.
"I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that as well, yes. Again, just didn't feel ready to take that dive. At that point."
And it sounds like he's never been ready to take that dive. In his conversation with Shortlist, the actor reveals that he took a meeting to play Robin in director Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. And he was also up for the role of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. About taking on the role of Robin, he says the following.
"I never screen-tested. I had a meeting with Joel Schumacher. It was just one meeting and, no, I didn't end up doing it. As I recall I took the meeting, but didn't want to play the role. Joel Schumacher is a very talented director but I don't think I was ready for anything like that. [Spider-Man] was another one of those situations, similar to Robin, where I didn't feel ready to put on that suit yet. They got in touch with me."
The big question is, will Leonardo DiCaprio ever play a superhero? There have been rumors over the years that he might appear in a DC Comics or Marvel adventure. But it sounds like that might never actually happen. What does the actor have to say about that particular scenario?
"You never know. You never know. They're getting better and better as far as complex characters in these movies. I haven't yet. But no, I don't rule out anything."
When it comes to casting Star Wars, the franchise has always gravitated towards unknown and mostly untested talent. Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced the world to Daisy Ridley and John Boyega these past few weeks, with the pair leading an ensemble cast of old and new characters alike. The original did the same, with A New Hope putting the mostly unknown at the time Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford on the world stage. The prequel trilogy also worked at this notion as well. While Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman were fairly familiar to audiences back in 1999, fans first met the completely unknown Jake Lloyd as a very young Anakin. And then the equally unknown at the time actor Hayden Christensen took over the older version of Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
He was later heavily criticized for his whiny performance and stiff, wooden acting. Would Leonardo DiCaprio been able to take the character in a different direction? Would he have saved the prequels? That is something we'll never know, but we certainly can ponder the idea. What do you think? Would you have rather seen Leonardo DiCaprio as Anakin Skywalker?