Black Widow is getting close to hiring a director.
Photo: Disney

We’re still months away from knowing what, exactly, Marvel has planned for its film universe after Avengers 4, but chances are part of it includes Black Widow.

Six months ago, news broke that Marvel Studios had hired writer Jac Schaeffer to pen a Black Widow movie, possibly even for a 2020 release. Now, Deadline reports that 49 people have interviewed for the directing gig, and the company has possibly narrowed its selection down to three women: Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), Amma Asante (Belle), and Maggie Betts (Novitiate), with a slight edge going to Shortland. Apparently, each director recently took a meeting with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and star Scarlett Johansson, marking them as members of this short list.

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Neither Shortland, Asante, nor Betts are household names, but each is a decorated director with multiple feature films, film festival appearances, awards, and award nominations under their belts. A Marvel movie would obviously be a step forward in budget for all of them, but the same can be said for basically every single director Marvel has hired previously, including the Russo Brothers, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, and Taika Waititi. In fact, Shortland, Asante, and Betts probably have more experience than several of the male directors Marvel has hired in the past. Like them, they’re simply talented filmmakers ready for a shot.

Whoever is hired will likely to be the first woman to direct a Marvel Studios movie solo. Anna Boden has the distinction of being the first woman to direct a Marvel movie, period (Captain Marvel, out next year), but she’s part of a team with Ryan Fleck.

If and when a deal is closed, don’t be surprised if Marvel keeps a lid on it for a little bit. It’s being very careful with post Avengers 4 news and even a hint of what’s to come, like this story, could be giving away too much.

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[Deadline]