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Marvel teams with Australian director Cate Shortland for stand-alone Black Widow movie

A handful of female directors were considered

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Iron Man 2. Marvel
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Update: The original article was updated to reflect Cate Shortland’s official attachment.

News on the Black Widow film has been quiet since January, when screenwriter Jac Schaeffer signed onto the awaited project. But now it looks like Marvel has found its director.

Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) is officially attached to the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though finding a female filmmaker was a top priority, the long search for the perfect director stalled at one point and the studio did consider bringing on a male director instead.

Amma Asante (Belle), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate) were also being heavily considered. Asante, Betts, and Shortland reportedly met with Marvel President Kevin Feige and star Scarlett Johansson, before Shortland was officially brought on.

Fans have been asking for a Black Widow movie ever since the character’s debut in Iron Man 2, and particularly since her starring roles in the Avengers films. But in 2013, Feige said that Marvel was not currently planning to include a solo film for a female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though it was possible.

Since then, a Black Widow movie has only persisted in rumor. Reports of its development surface every so often, only to get pushed aside for a more “pressing” film.

In 2014, Variety reported that a Black Widow film was in development, but it was put on hold later that year to focus on Captain Marvel — which was also put on hold because of Ant-Man, then further pushed back for an Ant-Man sequel.

Though Black Widow has played a prominent part in six of the MCU films, Marvel has not fully green-lit a solo film for her. As of now, the only reported solo film for an MCU super heroine is 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Marvel’s track record when it comes to handling Black Widow is not the best, but with this recent news, there’s hope that the project will move forward for real this time.

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