LATEST: Steven Spielberg has played down rumours he is planning to remake Mary Poppins.

The Saving Private Ryan director was linked to the project by SIR RICHARD EYRE, the director of the London stage show of Mary Poppins.

He said, "Spielberg wants to make a new film of Mary Poppins and we've talked about it a lot.

"It will be hard to outdo the original but kids love the story and I'm sure that the remake will be a real success."

But Spielberg's representative Marvin Levy counters, "I never heard of this and couldn't imagine Steven ever doing a remake of a classic - and a (Walt) Disney classic at that.

"There's a Broadway show from Disney but nothing involving us in any way."