Cate Shortland will direct Marvel's standalone film Black Widow

Cate Shortland will direct Marvel's standalone film Black Widow

Cate Shortland will direct Marvel's standalone film Black Widow

Marvel Studios has found its director for their upcoming Black Widow movie. Last month the director hunt narrowed with Amma Asante (Belle) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate) arising as the finalists alongside Shortland, while Inglourious Basterds breakout Melanie Laurent and Boys Don't Cry filmmaker Kimberly Pierce almost made the final cut.

The Berlin Syndrome director's appointment comes after a six-month search that reportedly canvassed over 70 possible directors, with a preference for female filmmakers.

Shortland's past credits include "Lore" and "The Berlin Syndrome", both of which featured female leads. The character has a tortured past, she's had to make a lot of hard decisions.

The Black Widow movie will star Scarlett Johansson and is said to be another prequel - similar to Captain Marvel - set in the past prior to The Avengers movie featuring Natasha Romanoff as a Russian spy turned super heroine.

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Earlier this year, Marvel hired screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to write the script, which is reportedly set before the events of the first Avengers film.

Scarlett first played the role in 2010's Iron Man 2, and she's confident that the character's "tortured past" would make for an entertaining standalone film.

Shortland's appointment on Black Widow follows New Zealander Taika Waititi's move into the Hollywood mainstream.

While Australian actors have been prominent in Marvel superhero movies, with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Shortland will be the first Australian director in the studio's so-called Cinematic Universe.

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