Leonardo DiCaprio was almost in “Hocus Pocus,” and we’ve got so many childhood feelings right now

October 20, 2017

If we had Winifred Sanderson’s ability to awaken her magic booOOOOK, we might just conjure up a quick peek at what her movie would have been like with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. No, we’re not saying we’d change a single thing about our beloved Hocus Pocus, but we are a little curious. Luckily, director Kenny Ortega recently gave Entertainment Weekly the scoop on the famous black-flame-candle-lighting virgin that might have been.

If we had Winifred Sanderson’s ability to awaken her magic booOOOOK, we might just conjure up a quick peek at what her movie would have been like with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. No, we’re not saying we’d change a single thing about our beloved Hocus Pocus, but we are a little curious. Luckily, director Kenny Ortega recently gave Entertainment Weekly the scoop on the famous black-flame-candle-lighting virgin that might have been.

When movie makers were starting on the classic Halloween flick (which, we recently found out, was originally much darker and called Halloween House), Ortega says casting called him to say they’d found the perfect Max. Of course, the Max they found was also not actually available to shoot the movie. Even so, they sent a young DiCaprio in to meet with Ortega (which really just seems rude given the circumstances) and the meeting was, well, awkward. Per Ortega:

“He was like, ‘I just feel really bad being here because I’m up for two other movies and I really want them both and I don’t want to lead you on.’ I was like, ‘That’s okay, I was already warned.’”

hocus pocus
Rose Hartman / Contributor / Getty Images, Disney

DiCaprio naturally crushed the audition and Ortega wanted him for the part, but he was too busy with those other two movies: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (which scored him an Oscar nod) and This Boy’s Life. Instead, DiCaprio’s boyish charms served as inspiration for what Ortega wanted in a Max. “Meeting him awakened me to the kind of spirit and fun and sincerity that I was looking for in an actor,” Ortega said.

As we all know, Omri Katz eventually landed the role of a lifetime and became our new on-screen crush (other than Binx, of course, in both human and cat form). Do we think Leo lies awake at night wondering what his chemistry with Allison would have been like? Or whether he would have been able to come up with the whole tricking the witches into thinking he controlled the rain bit convincingly? Probably not. But let’s hope if they do reboot the movie, Leo makes an enchanting cameo at least.

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