At the beginning of 2018, Marvel lined up Jac Schaeffer to write a script for Black Widow while a search for a director reportedly included over 70 potential helmers. Now, the search is over and Cate Shortland will direct Scarlett Johansson‘s beloved heroine in a new adventure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson personally lobbied for Shortland to helm the Black Widow film based on the strength of her previous movie, Lore. The report even indicates that Marvel briefly considered looking at male directors before making the call to go with Shortland.
THR‘s report indicates that Black Widow will be a prequel movie set before the title character’s involvement with the Avengers. Presumably that means it would also take place before her MCU debut in Iron Man 2. There is amble material to explore in Natasha Romanoff’s backstory as she was trained to be a spy in the Russian Red Room program before deciding to break away and defect to S.H.I.E.L.D. and work alongside Nick Fury and Hawkeye. That potentially means Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner’s characters could possibly have roles in the movie as well.
However, Black Widow could also be set after Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, given Marvel’s well established love of secrecy. It may make more sense to feature Black Widow in the present while flashing back to her origin story as needed. Johansson’s previous Marvel deal was supposedly going to end with Avengers 4. If so, then she would have had to make a new deal for her solo flick. If the movie proves to be a hit, do you think that Marvel and Disney would risk not lining Johansson up for potential sequels as well?
Black Widow doesn’t currently have an announced release date, but a 2020 debut seems likely if production begins this year.
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Images: Marvel Studios