Ever since Scarlett Johansson made her debut as the character in Iron Man 2, fans have been wondering when we would get a Black Widow standalone film.
Well, nearly a decade later, we will finally get to see that happen. After an exhaustive search, Cate Shortland has signed on to direct the standalone film for Marvel Studios. More on the story below.
THR says the search lasted for the better part of a year with the studio looking at over 70 to 75 directors to helm the film. But the one thing they had to make sure the film had, was a female director. That was a top priority.
That field narrowed down to 49 just last month, with Shortland being one of the frontrunners for the job. Other candidates on the shortlist included Deniz Gamze Erguven (the Turkish movie Mustang), Chloe Zhao (The Rider), Maggie Betts (Novitiate), and Amma Asante (A United Kingdom) as potential directors.
While Shortland doesn’t have proper representation, the Australian filmmaker was someone who Johansson was pushing for. According to the report, the actress is a fan of “Shortland’s handling of the female lead in Lore, a critically acclaimed 2012 drama that told of a young woman who leads her siblings through Germany as the Allied army rolls in.”
Shortland follows a long-list of little-known directors helming a Marvel film. Anthony and Joe Russo came from a large TV background before helming Captain America: The Winter Soldier – and eventually Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and the upcoming Avengers 4. Taika Waititi directed one of the best Thor films to date in Thor: Ragnarok. And Ryan Coogler is responsible for Black Panther, one of the best Marvel Studios films to date.
Here’s hoping that the Black Widow standalone can avoid some of the pitfalls of a prequel. Jac Schaeffer wrote the most recent draft for the film. While little is known about the plot, it is said that the film will take place before the events of the first Avengers. Maybe we will get to see what happens with her and Hawkeye in Budapest. But it does fall in line with what Johansson has said she would like to see if they ever gave her the chance to be in her own film:
“I would like for it to happen under the right circumstances. I think there’s a lot of opportunities to mine that story line. She’s got a really rich origins story. There’s a lot of places you can go — you can bring it back to Russia. You could explore the Widow program. There’s all kinds of stuff that you could do with it. You could really uncover the identity of who this person is, where she comes from and where she’s part of.”
A Black Widow film would be the third film to have a female billing, and the second to be a standalone female superhero film. Ant-Man and the Wasp was the first to have a female hero in the title; while Captain Marvel will be the first official female standalone superhero film. But Black Widow will be the first to have a female director at the helm, on her own.
We’ll keep you posted on the release date and any other developments when they come in.