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Leonardo DiCaprio Could've Played Anakin Skywalker in 'Star Wars'

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 01: (EDITORS NOTE: This images has been digitally retouched) Leonardo Di Caprio poses during the press junket for "Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood" at Soho House on August 01, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)
"Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood" Press Junket At Soho House Berlin | Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images

With the return of Star Wars back in 2015, more and more prestigious names have been joining the storied franchise, from Max von Sydow to Richard E. Grant to Dominic Monaghan. One notable star, however, has not been counted on that list: Leonardo DiCaprio, who opted not to appear in the fan-favorite series when given the opportunity.

In an interview with ShortList (via The Hollywood Reporter), DiCaprio revealed that he had been offered the role of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel films, but turned down the opportunity. "[I] just didn’t feel ready to take that dive, at that point," he explained.

With the first film of the prequel series, Episode I –
The Phantom Menace, debuting in 1999, DiCaprio had just come off of his breakout into critical acclaim with Titanic (1997). Evidently, however, he wasn’t yet mature enough to take on the role of the young Darth Vader.

Ultimately, the role went instead to Hayden Christensen, whose performance received mixed reviews, among the near universal disdain for the prequels in general. In the years since the series, Christensen has been involved in a number of films, though none as major as Star Wars.

As for whether or not DiCaprio will ever make an effort to appear to the series, it’s unclear--while the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor has made no indication that he’d appear in the franchise, he hasn’t ruled it out either.