Leonardo DiCaprio was king of the world at a fairly early age thanks to strong turns in films like "This Boy's Life" and "The Basketball Diaries," an Oscar nomination for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," and then a small indie movie no one saw called "Titanic." And thus, the world was his oyster, and as he shares in an interview with Shortlist, some big franchise opportunities came his way.
"A lot of people may look at what I’ve done career-wise and say that there was a period in which I tried to possibly become a movie star, per se, [and] tried to go for much bigger pictures," DiCaprio reflected. "The truth of the matter is, there was a period of time, very early on, when I started watching films and having heroes in the industry, actor-wise. But I feel I’ve been consistent about my dreams and what I wanted to be as an actor."
And it seems those dreams didn't involve franchise pictures. Asking about being approached to play Robin in "Batman Forever," DiCaprio reveals it didn't get very far, but is pretty gracious about 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," he said. "I don’t think I [wanted the role], no (laughs)....Joel Schumacher is a very talented director but I don’t think I was ready for anything like that."
Meanwhile, he also confirms he was eyed to play Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels. "I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that as well," he said, but added that it was pretty much the "same scenario" that played out as "Batman Forever."
While DiCaprio only laughed when asked if he dodged a bullet with those films, all one has to do is take a look at his filmography to see where his actorly interests lie, and it's not with brand-driven movies. And when you have guys like Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and Alejandro González Iñárritu knocking at your door, who can blame him?