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The Director Of ‘Hocus Pocus’ Explained Why Leonardo DiCaprio Couldn’t Star In The Halloween Film

Hocus Pocus initially underperformed at the box office before becoming a Halloween-season classic among millenials. But maybe it would have been an immediate hit if it starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Killers of the Flower Moon actor technically auditioned for the lead male role as Max in Hocus Pocus, but he was off limits to actually starring in the Disney film. “[My casting team] called me up,” director Kenny Ortega told Entertainment Weekly, “and said, ‘We’re sending someone in, but you can’t have him.’ They said, ‘We want you to know who he is, we want you to meet him, he’s agreed to come in to meet you, but he can’t do the role. He’s being offered a movie with [Robert] De Niro and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.’”

This was pre-Titanic Leo, but he was already famous (to fans of endearingly corny ABC sitcoms, at least) for playing Luke on Growing Pains. “He came in, and he was just amazing — so extraordinary and unique — he came and he was stressed,” Ortega recalled. “He said, ‘I feel bad that I’m here because I can’t do this, because I’m really focused on these other things,’ and I said, ‘Understandably.’ We shared a sandwich together. He was super cool.”

Ortega did not reveal what kind of sandwich it was. Leo seems like a bison liver on rye kind of guy. Anyway, the part ended up going to Omri Katz, who later retired from acting and now works as an “ambassador of the cannabis culture.” It’s more legit than being a vaping ambassador.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)