The long-awaited Black Widow standalone film finally has a director attached to the project. After a long search that involved meeting with over 70 candidates, Marvel Studios dwindled the list down to Amma Asante, Maggie Betts, and Shortland last month, according to the Hollywood Reporter. While finding a female filmmaker was a priority for the studio, there were some male counterparts that were seen for the job. 

THR reports that Scarlett Johansson, who plays the role of Black Widow, pushed to have Shortland helm the project after seeing the way she handled the female lead in her 2012 film Lore, which was about a young woman who guides her siblings through Germany to their grandmother’s home with the Allied army looming near. Variety reports that Shortland had "a promising meeting" with Johansson early on in the process that made her a favorite for the actress. Shortland’s focus on female leads in both Lore and the 2017 film Berlin Syndrome left a lasting impression on Johansson and Marvel Studios. 

Whether the film will primarily deal with Black Widow’s origin story or pick up from where the next Avengers movie ends remains a mystery. The project will be penned by screenwriter Jac Schaeffer, and become Marvel's second movie that centers around a female lead character following Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019).