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Andrew Lloyd Webber Reveals He Wanted Scarlett Johansson as Past SOUND OF MUSIC Star

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According to the Sun, during filming for an ITV special to honor Andrew Lloyd Webber's 40 years in show business, he revealed Scarlett Johansson was his first choice for the role of 'Maria' in The Sound of Music during his 2006 "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" talent search for BBC1. The show ended up casting Connie Fisher in the role.

"I wanted to star Scarlett Johansson," he said. "It was all agreed -- I wanted a girl show as the real age of Maria. Scarlett wanted to do it but wisely her agent said no, that she could not be in the London Palladium for nine months as she had a huge movie career."

Read the original report here.

During filming for the special Lloyd Webber also talked about how he once approached Simon Cowell about doing a West-End themed reality show, but Cowell has never taken the bait.

This new Lloyd Webber ITV special will air around Easter and will feature Nicole Scherzinger performing Evita's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and Denise Van Outen and Kimberley Walsh singing "Take That Look Off Your Face". Michael Ball will host the special. Ball - who has appeared in several Lloyd Webber musicals in both London and New York - will close the show with "Love Changes Everything" from the composer's 1989 musical ASPECTS OF LOVE. In addition to Scherzinger, Van Outen and Walsh, Myleene Klass, Simon Cowell and former Spice Girl Melanie C. are slated to appear.

Lloyd Webber will celebrate his 65th birthday this Friday, March 22. Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre, and has been referred to as "the most commercially successful composer in history." Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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