Cate Shortland To Direct Marvel’s Black Widow Standalone Film

After a long and extensive search for the ideal director, Marvel has finally found the woman who will helm Black Widow‘s solo film – Cate Shortland.

Shortland is an Australian director and writer, best known for her award-winning work on numerous independent films.

Scarlett Johansson, who will reprise her role as Black Widow, had backed up Shortland to take the director’s seat. The actress was apparently a fan of Shortland’s handling of a female lead in her award-winning 2012 film Lore, which revolved around a young woman leading her siblings through a war-torn Germany. Shortland’s other works include the Berlin Syndrome and Somersault, both of which feature female leads.

The search for Black Widow‘s director lasted over six months, and in that time Marvel Studios had met with over 70 potential candidates. The shortlist was narrowed in June as the remaining contenders were Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom), Maggie Betts (Novitiate), Melanie Laurent (Galveston), and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), along with Shortland.

As evident by the shortlist, Marvel was adamant about having a female filmmaker take the job, although desperate times when the search was stalled even led Marvel to consider male directors.

The film’s writer is Jac Schaeffer, who recently completed her first draft of the script. She previously wrote the upcoming genderbend female-centred remake of the 1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, titled The Hustle.

Black Widow will reportedly be set in the time before the first Avengers movie, taking us back to the earlier days of this Russian agent-turned-superhero. With a female director and female writer behind-the-scenes, along with a female superhero in the limelight, this is on its way to being a badass girl power production indeed.