It’s finally happening: 10 years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began and eight years since she first appeared in Iron Man 2, it looks like Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is actually getting her own movie. The project has been in the works for a long time, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige repeatedly indicating that he’d like someone to give Black Widow her own movie even though he’s the guy who literally has the power to do that, but this year it all started to pick up speed with the studio hiring a writer in January and kicking off an exhaustive search for a director.
Now, that search has come to an end, with The Hollywood Reporter saying that Marvel Studios has hired Australian director Cate Shortland to take over Black Widow. Johansson herself reportedly pushed for Shortland to be hired, as she saw the filmmaker’s Nazi drama Lore and was impressed by the female lead in that film—which is about the family of a high-ranking Nazi officer trying to outrun the Allied forces after Hitler’s death. Interestingly, Shortland wasn’t on the list of potential Black Widow directors we reported on, so she may have been a more recent contender.
Marvel hasn’t officially announced that it’s making Black Widow, as Feige has refused to detail any post-Avengers 4 plans, which means that there’s still a chance spin-off (which is said to be a pre-Avengers prequel) could be canceled before it gets much further. With a director on board now, though, that’s starting to look very unlikely.