Marvel taps Cate Shortland to direct the Black Widow film

Marvel’s Black Widow movie has found its director in indie filmmaker Cate Shortland.

It’s no secret Marvel is working on a film focusing on Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), and the search for a director has been exhaustive to say the least. But, it seems the studio has finally landed a director for the Scarlett Johansson-led film.

According to THR, Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland has been tapped to helm Marvel’s Black Widow movie. The studio had been searching high and low for a director, as the studio had reportedly met with over 70 candidates. Neither Marvel Studios nor Shortland’s reps have commented on the hiring.

The project itself is currently in the early stages of development and has not even been officially announced by Marvel Studios. The most recent draft of the screenplay was penned by Jac Schaeffer.

Shortland’s body of work includes Somersault, Lore and Berlin Syndrome. All three films were well-received critically. Aside from directing several short films, she’s also directed a few episodes of the acclaimed Australian television series, The Secret Life of Us.

While Shortland’s hiring may be a bit of a surprise, the idea of Marvel tapping an indie director isn’t. In the past, Marvel has proven to have a preference for filmmakers with smaller bodies of work that consist of smaller projects. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Jon Watts and Captain Marvel’s Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are only a few examples.

The approach may seem unorthodox to some, but it has proven to be effective thus far. And, if Marvel chose Shortland from 70 possible candidates, they must have really seen something special in her pitch.