While Australian actors have been prominent in Marvel superhero movies, with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Shortland will be the first Australian director in the studio's so-called Cinematic Universe.
Shortland was reportedly chosen from a list of finalists that included Amma Asante (Belle), Maggie Betts (Novitiate), Melanie Laurent (Galveston), and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry). 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".
Johansson made her debut as the character in 2010's Iron Man 2 and has appeared in multiple other Marvel Studios movies including Captain America: The WInter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and both of the Avengers movies.
In 2017, Shortland directed the movie Berlin Syndrome, a thriller about a romance which turns sinister when a charismatic man suddenly decides to keep a woman he's met as a prisoner in his apartment.
The Black Widow script is also penned by female screenwriter and producer Jac Schaeffer, best known for her 2009 film Timer. Not long ago, Shortland was rumored to be up for the position, but now it has been confirmed she will helm the Black Widow solo film.
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