Over eight years since Scarlett Johansson made her MCU debut as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Marvel finally look set to give the character her own solo film. Granted fans have been asking for this for a little over five years, but still, better late than never?
Curtesy of Deadline, who also report that Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland is a favourite for the gig, the House of Ideas will now take their rumoured Black Widow spin-off to the next stage of development. It was previously reported that Jac Schaeffer would pen the script, and with Johansson herself obviously due to reprise the role, all that's left is the matter of the supporting cast and the director.
In an update to their original story, Deadline also say that Marvel have narrowed their search to a potential 49 candidates, with the top trio being the aforementioned Shortland, whose credits include Lore and Berlin Syndrome, Amma Asante - who directed the lauded A United Kingdom in 2016 - and Maggie Betts, whose 2017 drama Novitiate was nominated for Sundance's Grand Jury Prize. Betts herself went on to win the festival's Breakthrough Director award.
In any case, Marvel's search for a female director is encouraging. Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman looks to have provided a watershed moment in the medium, with Captain Marvel also being spearheaded by leading female creatives, and talk of a Ms. Marvel adaptation having hotted up in recent months too.
Marvel's latest solo feature doesn't have a release date yet, but it's likely that they'll be looking to complete their search by the time San Diego Comic Con rolls around this July. The only Phase 4 films announced (officially) are Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and with others occupying slots in 2020, 2021 and beyond, it's likely that Marvel's premiere femme fatale will be among them.
Whether or not it's a prequel is another thing altogether of course, but with talk of Sebastian Stan reprising his role as Winter Soldier too, the House of Ideas could be set to flesh out the MCU's history just that little bit more.