Titanic is a blessing and curse for Leo.
Titanic made him a superstar and people started paying money to see his movies. This in-turn made him bankable overnight. Even though he is of similar talent as Christian Bale, Matt Damon or Edward Norton, Titanic made him the biggest star in the world even bigger than Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp which can be proved from the box office numbers of movies that came from that period on wards.
These incentives enabled him to attract A-List film makers such as Spielberg, Scorsese, Quentin, Nolan, Sam Mendes , Alejandro and very big directors. The box office appeal for Leo is a benefit for directors as well. For instance Scorsese never had a box office blockbuster before Gangs of New York (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull weren't huge box office hits).
After Kundun and Bringing out the dead became flops Scorsese was at a point in his career where his movies flopped. He needed someone bankable to carry his movies or he might end up like Francis Ford Coppola and not make movies. Leo on the other hand needed someone to director him a good movie after the horrible Man in Iron Mask and The Beach. I mean how else would the great Scorsese started working with the guy from Man in the Iron Mask and Beach ? Scorsese just worked with recent Oscar winner Nicholas cage for Bringing out the dead.So why did he chose Leo?
Well its a give and take relation between Leo and Scorsese as Leo wants someone to make his passion projects and direct him in critically acclaimed movies and Scorsese wanted career longevity.
Similarly Spielberg was approached by Leo to direct Catch Me If You Can and Leo tortured Scorsese to make Wolf of Wall Street.
I have seen video proofs for this on YouTube (if you can search smartly). They never said no because his movies make money and he is a decent actor and they can make big budget movies if he stars in them . Mark my words if it wasn't for Titanic he would have never worked with all the above top directors. He might have worked with few but not all and his movies wouldn't be such giant hits.
Leo never wanted to be a romantic lead actor and Titanic made him a romantic lead. But after that he tried breaking away from that image by taking on serious roles.
His goal is to win multiple Oscar awards and become one of the greatest actors of all time.
But the problem is Oscars are given through majority in voting of 6000 actors. Fellow actors obviously know that Leo's bank-ability and pretty-boy image has made him a superstar and his movies are easy to get made.
He has the habit of hiring directors to do the movies he wants.
But this goes contrary to the fact that movies are directors medium and Director should think which movies they want to make and if they think an actor is good for the part then they hire the actor.
But in Leo's case it's the opposite, and he never works with smaller directors which is a shame. He never takes risks.
He took risks twice (The Beach and Man in the Iron Mask) both critically panned.
So for him to win an Oscar he has to take risk and make a movie which is elevated by his performance and not make a great movie in which he is a part of it. Because even Jonah Hill got an Oscar nomination under Scorsese direction.Great directors can obtain great performances from even mediocre actors.
Coming back to Leo he always works with big directors and resulting movies are good and audience think he has the Midas touch. But that's not true. His Midas touch comes from working with big directors, they act as cushion for the movie and prevent the movies from becoming bad.
So in someways opportunities to work with big directors so he can make entertaining and critically acclaimed movies is preventing him from taking risky projects.
Moreover being lead in Titanic is preventing him from winning Oscars that he wants badly.
"HE HAS THIS PROBLEM OF BEING BIGGER THAN THE MOVIE."As Brando said, "AN ACTOR SHOULD NEVER BE BIGGER THAN THE MOVIE, MOVIE SHOULD BE BIGGER THAN THE ACTOR."
Even Wolf of Wall Street is about HIM. That attitude clearly shows ego.
Oscar voters doesn't comprise of top talent like Scorsese and Spielberg they usually are less famous people that are working in film industry. How do you guys and gals think it appears to them ?
Let me tell you
"Look at this guy who became an overnight romantic lead and works only with top directors and looks down on others.Goes in yachts and dates supermodels. Why does he need Oscar ?"
In the current world of selfishness don't you guys think the above thought process is valid ? I mean I would day its pretty accurate.
So he needs to do more movies like the Departed, Inception where the story comes first and the actors second and not J. Edgar or Wolf of Wall Street.Which are clearly Oscar bait type movies.
Mind you people getting an Oscar nomination is lot easier than winning. Studios and Hollywood insiders can force voters to choose a given actor among the five nominees. Winning is 1 of 5 choice which cannot be rigged. Leo being a major money maker for studios can be assured a nomination for every decent movie.
A small update, The Revenant and The Grey( Starring Liam Neeson) are both difficult to shoot as Liam Neeson also told they shot in extreme cold conditions. Then why is it that The Revenant is Oscar worthy because its lead suffered a lot in-front of the camera ? Liam neeson also suffered a lot.
The Revenant has lot of Terrence Malick kind of shots and spiritual undertones but then why is the poetic nature of The Revenant Oscar worthy and not The New World(by Terrence Malick) when it is released ?
The Revenant is a simple revenge tale but it is turned into an environmental awareness kind of movie to make it sound more important with an "I" to make it Oscar worthy.Its up-to you how you think about it. But I find it to be an extremely aggressive kind of career path Leo has chosen.
I want to ask this question if I ever met Leo
"Dude does you every movie has to be aimed at winning Oscars ? "
These are my honest opinions based upon what I came across online.