Leonardo DiCaprio Explains Why He Passed on 'Star Wars' Prequels

Leonardo DiCaprio
AP Images/Invision

Ron Howard and Al Pacino are also on the list of those who turned down the space adventure series.

Leonardo DiCaprio was eyed to play Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, but the Hollywood superstar passed on the opportunity.

After taking a meeting with George Lucas years ago, DiCaprio didn't feel he was the right fit, he said in a recent interview with ShortList magazine.

"[I] just didn’t feel ready to take that dive, at that point," DiCaprio stated.

DiCaprio, who is generating Oscar buzz with his performance in the upcoming The Revenant, is not alone on the list of those who took a pass at being a part of the multibillion dollar, iconic space-adventure franchise. Oscar-winning director Ron Howard also passed on being a part of the Star Wars prequels. 

"He didn’t necessarily want to direct them," Howard recently said of George Lucas on a podcast with Josh Horowitz. "He told me that he had talked to [Robert] Zemeckis, he talked to me, he talked to Steven Spielberg. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: 'George, you should just do it. This is your baby.' Nobody wanted to follow that act I don’t think at that point. That was an honor, but it would’ve been just too daunting."

Big name actors passing on Star Wars is nothing new. It was happening before the first film was released in 1977. Al Pacino passed on playing Han Solo, the role that would make Harrison Ford a household name. 

"Star Wars was mine for the taking, but I didn't understand the script," Pacino told the London Evening Standard in 2013.

Ford reprised his role for the latest Star Wars installment, which is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. 

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