Imagine if Leonardo DiCaprio had been in the Star Wars prequels. It’s interesting to hear that the world-famous actor turned down George Lucas’s offer to be Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Coming off of Titanic in 1997, DiCaprio was one of the biggest stars in the world. Titanic had become the top grossing movie ever and he could have had any job he wanted.
Ultimately, DiCaprio ended up passing on the job, later telling The Short List that he “didn’t feel ready to take that dive.” Although, reports in The Guardian from the time of the initial rumors implied that the actor would have liked to take the role. The fact remained that DiCaprio wasn’t in the prequels. Hayden Christensen ended up being Anakin – and we all know how that ended.
As Yahoo Movies via Squareeyed points out rather interestingly, DiCaprio has never gotten himself involved in big movie franchises, and it’s possible he just has a natural aversion to such things. He’s also never been a great companion to sci-fi or fantasy, with Christopher Nolan’s Inception being a rare exception.
We’ll never know what DiCaprio would have been like in the role. Well, he couldn’t have been much worse than Christensen, no offence to him.
Below is DiCaprio’s interview with The Short List where he also confirms he met with Joel Schumacher for the role of Robin in Batman & Robin. Another huge bullet dodged perhaps?
Were you in talks to play Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels?
I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that as well, yes.
Same scenario (laughs).
He wanted you, but you didn’t fancy it?
Um, right. Exactly.
Again, just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.
As for the “same scenario” DiCaprio mentions while apparently laughing, that’s in reference to a previous remark about also being asked to step into Robin’s shoes by Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher:
Did that include playing Robin in Batman Forever? There’s a rumour you screen-tested for it…
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.
Did you actually want the role?
Er, I don’t think I did, no (laughs). 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.
Do you feel like you dodged a bullet?