Cate Shortland Will Direct the Black Widow Movie!

After an extensive search by the studio, and years of fans asking about the project, The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Australian director Cate Shortland will helm Marvel Studios’ Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson. Shortland’s credits include the World War II drama Lore from 2012 and the horror film Berlin Syndrome from last year.

The studio reportedly met with over 70 different directors for the project, narrowing the search down to Amma Asante (Belle), Maggie Betts (Novitiate), and Shortland. Actress turned director Melanie Laurent (Galveston) and Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry, Carrie) were also reportedly in the mix.

Though no official word has been announced by Marvel Studios at this point, THR reports that Jac Schaeffer has penned the most recent draft of the script for the film. The outlet also notes that the Black Widow movie, much like the upcoming Captain Marvel film, will be a prequel and is set before the events of Marvel’s The Avengers.

Johansson made her debut as the character in 2010’s Iron Man 2 and has appeared in multiple other Marvel Studios movies including Captain America: The WInter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and both of the Avengers movies. She most recently reprised the role of Natasha Romanov, a.k.a. Black Widow, in the this summer’s biggest blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. Widow, along with all of the core Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and presumably Hawkeye) survived the events of that film and are all expected to be seen in next summer’s still-untitled Avengers 4.