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Leonardo DiCaprio Was Considered for the Lead in ‘Hocus Pocus,’ but Was Just Too Busy to Commit

Despite the news that Disney Channel is planning a Hocus Pocus remake, I’ve still allowed myself to get excited over marathoning the original Hocus Pocus this Halloween season. As far as I’m concerned, the movie is perfect as is, but there’s now reason to believe it could have been even better. Director Kenny Ortega revealed to Entertainment Weekly that even though he wasn’t available to film the movie, a young Leonardo DiCaprio met with him about playing the film’s teenage lead Max. Um, mind blown. 

“[The casting ladies] said, ‘We’re sending you an actor today but he’s not available but you’re going to fall in love with him but you can’t have him,'” Ortega revealed in a chat about the movie’s history. “They were like, ‘You need to see this guy because he’ll inspire you and if nothing else, he’ll help you find the right guy to play Max.'”

If I had the chance to meet a pre-Titanic DiCaprio, I’m pretty sure I’d fall in love with him too. Ortega certainly wasn’t immune to the young actor’s charms. “He’s just the most sincere and most centered and a wild child at the same time,” he said.

DiCaprio was ultimately unavailable for the role because he was in consideration for roles in This Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and even felt awkward about meeting Ortega when they both knew the discussion was futile. 

“Obviously, he left and incredible things happened for that young man,” Ortega said. “But meeting him awakened me to the kind of spirit and fun and sincerity that I was looking for in an actor and when Omri Katz came around, I fell in love again and he was our Max.”

Although DiCaprio’s career obviously didn’t suffer from turning down the role, fans are understandably intrigued by what could have been. I mean, we could all use a seasonal DiCaprio movie in our lives, right? 

Count me in as someone fascinated by this story. Although we have plenty of films to catch DiCaprio in all of his ’90s beauty, there’s nothing wrong with wishing that he could’ve contributed to this holiday classic.

Kristen is a 2017 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English and minors in Writing & Communications and Journalism. Although she constantly pines for life in London after studying there for a semester, she calls New York home for now. In addition to previously working as a writer and Senior Editor for Her Campus Siena, she has worked for Her Campus as a News and Pop Culture blogger and a national editorial intern. Kristen has previously written for New York Minute, London's Health and Fitness, and Electronic Products. She makes far too many references to "Friends" and the British royal family. Her blog, where she talks about books, TV, and film, can be found at Bookworms and Fangirls. Follow her on Twitter @kperroney.
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