De Niro Wanted Dicaprio Over Damon
Director ROBERT DE NIRO originally selected LEONARDO DiCAPRIO to star in THE GOOD SHEPHERD, but had to recast after the TITANIC star dropped out because of scheduling conflicts.
The TAXI DRIVER star had all the pieces in place to begin filming and decided to re-cast the role with MATT DAMON in the lead.
He explains, "Leonardo DiCaprio was originally going to do it, but he had schedule problems and it got so complicated.
"I said I had to move on quickly because I had all the machinery of the movie moving forward."
This is only De Niro's second stint behind the camera and he admits his directing style is heavily influenced by good friend and colleague MARTIN SCORSESE.
He adds, "I've done eight movies with Marty, so obviously something has to rub off."