Back in May, news came out that the long-rumored Black Widow solo movie starring Scarlett Johansson had begun looking at directors to helm the MCU film. A huge number of directors, in the neighborhood of 65+, apparently met with Marvel about the job, indicating that the studio wanted to be thorough and get the right person to deliver on a movie many fans have wanted since Natasha Romanoff debuted way back in Iron Man 2. Now it appears that that search may finally be bearing fruit. Marvel is looking for a female filmmaker to direct the Black Widow movie, and Australian director Cate Shortland is believed to be at the top of the list.

Cate Shortland's most recent credits include the 2012 historical drama Lore and the 2017 mystery film Berlin Syndrome. Deadline reports that Shortland is the one to keep an eye on, but also mentioned not to count out two other contenders. The other two directors are Amma Asante, who directed A United Kingdom and Belle, and Maggie Betts, who wrote and directed the 2017 drama Novitiate. A field of a whopping 49 candidates was whittled down to these three remaining contenders. Cate Shortland, Amma Asante and Maggie Betts have all met recently with Kevin Feige and Scarlett Johansson.

Marvel seems to really be endeavoring to increase the diversity behind the camera in its films, and these three female directors are emblematic of that trend. Captain Marvel recently broke the glass ceiling in another way, but now the Black Widow movie is looking to follow suit, becoming the first MCU film directed by a woman director alone (Captain Marvel has a male/female duo at the helm). Although these three potential directors don't have a lot of high-profile directing gigs to their name, Marvel has shown, perhaps better than any other studio, how good it is at bringing in lesser-known directors from TV or smaller films who understand character first and acclimating them to the Marvel machine and blockbuster filmmaking to deliver hits.

The Black Widow movie has been something fans have wondered about for years, and things finally seemed to be gaining traction at the beginning of this year when screenwriter Jac Schaffer was brought aboard to write the movie. The Black Widow solo film may be a prequel film, following Natasha Romanoff in the United States 15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. With a director shortlist, all signs seem to point to the MCU's original heroine, Black Widow finally getting her solo movie in the hyper-mysterious Phase 4.

We'll keep you updated with any further developments and if someone officially lands the job. For all the latest on the Black Widow movie, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all your movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

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