Marvel Studios has hired Australian director Cate Shortland to direct a standalone movie featuring Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow superhero.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Shortland beat out over 70 candidates that the studio reviewed for the job. Perhaps inspired by what Patty Jenkins did as director of Wonder Woman for DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers, Marvel was focusing their search n female directors. Reportedly, the shortlist that the studio came up with from the initial 70 candidates also included Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom), Maggie Betts (Novitiate), Melanie Laurent (Galveston) and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry).
Reportedly, Johansson was instrumental in advocating for Shortland, expressing an admiration for how she directed the 2012 World War Two drama Lore.
The most recent draft for the film has been written by Jac Schaeffer, who has also written the upcoming gender-swapped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nasty Women.
Johansson’s Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanov, joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2010’s Iron Man 2. She followed that up with appearances in 2012’s The Avengers, 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and this past summer’s Avengers: Infinity War.
This solo movie reportedly set before any of these appearances, which leads to the possibility that it will be an origin story of sorts for the character. In previous films, Black Widow’s past as a Soviet assassin has been hinted at but never fully explored.
This news does give us another puzzle piece towards what Marvel’s Phase Four cycle of superhero films will look like. As of right now, all we know is that Phase Four will commence after next May’s untitled fourth Avengers film hits the screens and that the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, Far From Home, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 and a second, as of yet untitled, Doctor Strange film will be a part of it. It is also very likely that the studio will move forward on a sequel to this year’s Black Panther, though there has been no definitive reportage on a script being worked on. The studio has also recently hired the writing team of Matt K. Firpo and Ryan Firpo to develop a screenplay that would bring the cosmic heroes known as The Eternals to the big screen.