"We actually had DiCaprio ready to be cast," Michael Berk, an original producer, told The Hollywood Reporter. "But David thought he was too old to play his son." Berk's fellow producer, Douglas Schwartz, went one step further, revealing that Hasselhoff, who went on to star in the hit TV show for 11 years between 1989 and 2000, was worried about how it would make him look. "David thought it would make him look older," revealed Schwartz. "He had a lot of concerns of that type."
Instead of DiCaprio, a nine-year-old Jeremy Jackson got the part, leaving the future Oscar winner to pursue a string of teenage hits, including TV shows Parenthood, Growing Pains, and his breakout film role, What's Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993.