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Black Widow Standalone Movie Is Happening

THR is reporting Marvel Studios’ Black Widow standalone movie has its director.

Cate Shortland, the Australian director perhaps best known for the Nazi drama Lore, has signed on to direct Black Widow, Marvel’s action-adventure project that will star Scarlett Johansson.

The move caps off a search that lasted over half-year as the studio met with over 70 directors in order to find its ideal candidate. A female filmmaker was the priority even as the search stalled at one point and the studio looked at male directors.

The hunt narrowed in June with Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate) being the finalists alongside Shortland. Melanie Laurent (Galveston) and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) were also in the next-to-final mix.

Shortland, who does not have agency representation, had a fan in Johansson, who pushed for the helmer. The actress admired Shortland’s handling of the female lead in Lore, a critically acclaimed 2012 drama that tells of a young woman who leads her siblings through Germany as the Allied army rolls in. Her most recent film is Berlin Syndrome, a 2017 thriller that stars Teresa Palmer.

Jac Schaeffer wrote the most recent draft for Widow. She also wrote the upcoming femalecentric remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nasty Women.

Johansson’s Widow is reportedly set before the events of the first Avengers movie and sees the actress reprise the Russian spy turned super heroine. The movie will be Marvel’s second female-focused film after Captain Marvel, which is due to open March 8.

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