Cate Shortland will direct Scarlet Johansson in Black Widow.
Photo: Alexander Koerner / Stringer via Getty Images and Disney

Australian director Cate Shortland has been tapped by Marvel Studios to direct a Black Widow solo movie.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, which was expected as Shortland was recently named the frontrunner on a short list of directors Marvel was considering. However, now that Shortland has signed on, it makes her the first solo female director of what’s likely to be Marvel’s second solo female-lead superhero film. (Anna Boden is co-directing Captain Marvel, making her the first female director period out of the studio’s 20 films, and Marvel’s first female-led superhero film ever). Scarlett Johansson, obviously, will return as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow.

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According to the report, the film is likely to be a prequel, set before Widow was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 2. Jac Schaeffer wrote the most recent draft.

Shortland was picked after Marvel interviewed upwards of 70 directors, men and women, for the film. Johansson reportedly liked her because of the way she handled the lead character in her film, Lore. Her most recent film was called Berlin Syndrome, which got some buzz on the festival circuit.

The question now becomes, when does this movie come out and will the events of Avengers 4 change it? Right now, 2020 is the rumor, but we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it’s wild to think that, finally, a Black Widow movie is coming.

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