Scarlett johansson's Black Widow movie gets a director - find out who

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Australian director Cate Shortland is to direct the Marvel blockbuster Black Widow.

Shortland won the gig from a field of 49 candidates including Amma Asante (Belle), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate), according to Deadline.

Shortland's past credits include "Lore" and "The Berlin Syndrome", both of which featured female leads, another big selling point for Marvel and Johansson. Although the studio initially meant to hire a female filmmaker, the Hollywood trade says the Disney-owned studio "stalled at one point and the studio looked at male directors".

Shortland doesn't even have agency representation, but Johansson pushed for the filmmaker to land the gig as the actress had a strong hand in picking this director.

The film has been in development for a while but picked up momentum in January when Jac Schaeffer was tapped to pen the script. Kevin Feige is producing the project.

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Little is known about the plot of the Black Widow film, although industry rumour suggests it will explore events in a time period before the first Avengers movie.

Shortland, who has been regarded as the frontrunner to direct the film, is best known for directing Berlin Syndrome and Lore.

The film has not yet been officially announced by Marvel Studios yet. Apparently, Marvel has already met with over 40 directors about the Black Widow job to date.

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.

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