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Film

Watch Scarlett Johansson's incredible audition tape for 'Jumanji'

Scarlett Johansson is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in Hollywood, known for her moving performances in modern masterpieces such as Lost in Translation as well as commercial blockbusters like Marvel films. Johansson has proven that she is capable of handling popular superhero flicks as well as serious dramatic work in projects like Marriage Story.

Born in New York City, Johansson was drawn to the performing arts from a very early age and her enthusiasm was definitely noted by the people around her. One particular musical inspired her the most and that was Meet Me in St. Louis because she was very impressed by Judy Garland’s performance in the film and wanted to emulate her.

This inspired her to practise her acting skills in front of the career until she brought herself to tears. Although she wasn’t signed by a talent agent as a child, Johansson pursued the dream of being an actress and soon made the switch to cinema and theatre after realising that she did not want to stay in the world of advertisements and commercials.

Johansson ended up making her film debut in the 1994 film North, soon finding other parts in films like Just Cause. At the time, she also auditioned for a major role in a 1995 fantasy film that would become a classic in its own right. Titled Jumanji, the film chronicled the consequences of playing a supernatural board game and starred icons like Robin Williams.

“The studio said they would make the film if we could get Robin to do it,” director Joe Johnston recalled. “He had passed on the original script. A bunch of us stayed up all night doing a cut-and-paste job and changed a lot around [the screenplay is credited to Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor and Jim Strain], and Robin liked it enough to say yes.”

Johnston also admitted that he was surprised by the commercial success of the film as it went on to gross more than $250 million at the box office. He compared Jumanji to another iconic classic while explaining the appeal of the project: “There’s a little bit of It’s a Wonderful Life to the story. What if you could go away and come back and see what life would be if you hadn’t existed?”

Johansson did not end up getting the role as it eventually went to Kirsten Dunst while other big names like Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were also attached to the project during the planning.

Watch Scarlett Johansson’s audition for Jumanji below.