After an extensive search that included 70 candidates, Marvel Studios has found a director for the upcoming Black Widow film. Announced by The Hollywood Reporter, Cate Shortland is taking over directorial duties. Shortland is the director of the 2012 Nazi drama Lore. Scarlett Johansson is expected reprise her role as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's deadly double-agent. The film's most recent draft was written by Jac Schaeffer.
The Black Widow movie will be reportedly set at some point prior to the first Avengers film and explore how Natasha Romanoff became one of the deadliest assassins on the planet before defecting to S.H.I.E.L.D. and later the Avengers. Demand for a Black Widow film has been in demand for some years now, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige offering vague responses. It wasn't until last year that the film started showing signs of life. Before Shortland's hiring, it was reported that all the directorial candidates were women, which was said to be a high priority for the studio.
Black Widow first appeared in Marvel's Tales of Suspense comics in 1964. Created by Stan Lee and Dons Rico and Don Heck, Natasha was originally an antagonist for Iron Man and even got Hawkeye to become a villain before defecting to the United States. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she's technically the fourth Avenger to appear on screen, but has appeared in at least two movies from each Marvel Phase.
Black Widow does not yet have a release date.