“I never screen-tested”: Not Just Batman Forever, Leonardo DiCaprio Has Casually Abandoned 6 Other High Value Movies

Not Just Batman Forever, Leonardo DiCaprio Has Casually Abandoned 6 Other High Value Movies
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Killers of the Flower Moon will be Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s sixth collaboration for a feature film. The legendary actor-director pair has delivered masterpieces like, The Wolf of Wall StreetShutter Island, and Gangs of New York among others. As such there’s a lot of excitement around the upcoming movie, as fans wait to see just how Scorsese will utilize the actor’s immense talents this while.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio.

The fact the veteran filmmaker has managed to get hold of DiCaprio so many times is in itself a huge feat considering how sought-after he has been ever since his magical performance in Titanic. In the last three decades or so, the seven-time Oscar-nominated actor has turned down several movies, much to big-time filmmakers’ disappointment.

Here’s a look at seven high value movies DiCaprio casually abandoned.


Batman Forever – Dick Grayson

Batman Returns (1992) failed to replicate the success of Batman 1989 as many viewers found Tim Burton’s dark and gothic stamp on the superhero too much to handle. As per Forbes, Warner Bros. wanted to make the third movie more accessible to family audiences, leading to a host of changes in the franchise.

Chris O'Donnell
Chris O’Donnell.

The tone of the series changed under Burton’s successor Joel Schumacher, which also led to the introduction of Robin. Many young actors were considered to add Robin’s boyish charm alongside his serious ally Batman.

In 2015, Leonardo DiCaprio, in an interview with ShortList, revealed that he also met with Schumacher. “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.


Chris O’Donnell eventually bagged the part of Dick Grayson.

Read more: Leonardo DiCaprio’s $2.2 Billion Movie Started an Annoying Trend Before Marvel and DC’s Superhero Movies

Boogie Nights – Eddie Adams

Boogie Nights was one of the best movies of the 90s and proved to be a career breakthrough for Mark Wahlberg. However, director Paul Thomas Anderson wanted to bring in DiCaprio before Wahlberg, only for the young actor at the time to turn down the project after months of deliberation.

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights.

Considering the critical and financial success of Dirk Diggler’s tale, many actors would’ve been laughed at for saying no to it, but DiCaprio’s foresight didn’t disappoint him. He turned down the part in Anderson’s movie in favor of playing Jack in Titanic, and as they say, the rest is history.

The Matrix – Neo

The historic success of Titanic intensified DiCaprio’s stardom, leading to top studios and producers falling over each other in their bid to get him.

The Matrix star, Keanu Reeves
The Matrix star, Keanu Reeves.

He was offered a lucrative chance to play Neo in the sci-fi thriller The Matrix, but the way Titanic was made somehow influenced the actor’s decision. Speaking to The Wrap, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed: “Then we go to Leonardo [DiCaprio]. He says yes, we have meetings with him and then he goes, ‘You know, I can’t go do another visual effects movie having just finished ‘Titanic’ and he drops out.” 


However, most fans of the iconic franchise wouldn’t see this development with regret thanks to Keanu Reeves’s incredible work.

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Tom Ripley

The thrilling portrayal of Tom, who gets obsessed with the lifestyle of wealthy heir Dickie, did wonders for Matt Damon’s career. It showed the good boy of Good Will Hunting was also capable of playing much more serious and complex roles. However, Damon only landed the role of the sociopath after DiCaprio turned it down.

Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley
Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

As per The Guardian, the Catch Me If You Can star snubbed the lead role in The Talented Mr. Ripley before signing up for The Beach.


American Psycho – Patrick Bateman

Talking about sociopaths, Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman is the internet’s favorite madman, judging by the countless memes based on his character from the movie American Psycho. 

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

However, The studio behind the cult favorite movie was determined to rope in DiCaprio, so much so that they pushed out director Mary Harron for insisting on Bale to play the savvy investment banker in the day and bloodlust murderer at night (via Huffington Post).

However, DiCaprio ended up exiting the project. Screenwriter Guinevere Turner suggested (via Vice) that one of the reasons behind that could’ve been the actor’s discussion with journalist Gloria Steinem, who told him to not lead the movie depicting violence against women.


Read more: “He could have made a lot of money”: Leonardo DiCaprio Agreed for Just 10% of His Usual Fee to Work With Clint Eastwood That He Later Regretted

Star Wars Prequel Trilogy – Anakin Skywalker

After The Beach (2000) was obliterated by critics, the actor was on the lookout for a big project to somewhat mimic the highs of Titanic.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

That’s exactly what happened, as he got offered the role of Anakin Skywalker in the final two movies of Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. But DiCaprio rejected the offer.


“I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes,” DiCaprio told Shortlist in 2015. “I don’t think I was ready for anything like that. I just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.”

The same year Hayden Christensen featured as Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), DiCaprio’s first project with Martin ScorseseGangs of New York, hit the theaters. Can’t say that was a bad decision!

Spider-Man – Peter Parker

Like his favorite director, it seems DiCaprio is also not the biggest fan of entertaining fans with colorful suits and magical powers. After DC’s Batman Forever, he was offered another chance to enter the superhero genre with Marvel’s Spider-Man. His answer was the same this while as well.

The role of Peter Parker eventually went to Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man.

“That 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 48-year-old explained to Shortlist.

Tobey Maguire portrayed the role of the Web-Head, cementing his place in the Marvel folklore for eternity.

Read more: 5 Oscar-Winning Actors Who Turned Down Millions of Dollars Worth Offers From Marvel and DC


Source: Forbes, ShortList, The Wrap, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Vice


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.