‘Black Widow’ Will Be Directed by Cate Shortland, the Latest Indie Filmmaker to Join the Realm of Superheroes

She previously helmed "Berlin Syndrome," "Lore," and "Somersault."
Cate Shortland
Cate Shortland
Daniel Bergeron

Marvel has found its “Black Widow” director in Cate Shortland, who was chosen from a field of more than 70 candidates. The Australian filmmaker, whose “Berlin Syndrome” premiered at Sundance last year, will become the studio’s first solo director when she helms the standalone film starring Scarlett Johansson — next year’s “Captain Marvel” is being co-directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck.

Shortland, 49, is likely best known for directing 2012’s “Lore.” About a family of unrepentant Nazis attempting to flee in the aftermath of World War II, it won the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival before its theatrical release. Her 2004 debut, “Somersault,” starred a then-unknown Abbie Cornish and premiered in the Un Regard Section of the Cannes Film Festival; though she’s far from prolific, Shortland’s body of work clearly impressed Marvel’s upper brass.

Johansson has portrayed the Russian spy (real name Natasha Romanova) in several films over the last eight years: “Iron Man 2,” “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and this year’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” Shortland quickly became a contender for the project after a favorable meeting with the actress early on in the process, according to Variety. Marvel has yet to comment on the news.

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