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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Johansson denies West End demands
Scarlett Johansson
Johansson stars in Brian De Palma's forthcoming thriller The Black Dahlia
A spokesman has denied claims that plans to cast Scarlett Johansson in The Sound of Music fell through because of "ridiculous" demands by her management.

The Lost in Translation star reportedly agreed to play the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's London stage revival.

But the composer told the Times: "Her people were not pro the idea. It became clear it wasn't going to work because the demands became so ridiculous."

A spokesman called Lord Lloyd Webber's comments "extremely exaggerated".

"It is true that there were some discussions regarding Scarlett and the production of The Sound Of Music.

Her management team was simply asking for terms that an actress of her stature would ask for
Spokesman for Scarlett Johansson

"But Mr Webber's statement regarding the 'demands' is extremely exaggerated," a spokesman said.

"Her management team was simply asking for terms that an actress of her stature would ask for.

"The real reason why the negotiations stopped was the run of the play interfered with the production of one of the films she was slated to accomplish."

Johansson, 21, was set to play Maria Von Trapp in the West End musical, following discussions with Lord Lloyd Webber.

"They wanted two minders backstage at all times and that sort of thing," said the composer, in an interview in the Times.

"They couldn't understand why she would want to appear in the West End for 10,000 a week when she could be earning $10m for a movie."

The role of Maria will now be played by an unknown, to be chosen by viewers of BBC reality TV show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?.

Johansson's new film Scoop, from director Woody Allen, is released across the US this weekend.

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