It appears the director shortlist for Marvel's Black Widow movie has been narrowed down to three frontrunners. Marvel Studios has been very thorough in its search for a filmmaker to call the shots on Natasha Romanoff's solo vehicle. So far, the studio has met with more than 65 different directors about the Black Widow film, the vast majority (if not all) of which have been women. Black Widow is expected to be one of the first movies released as part of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which helps explain why Marvel is so keen to lock down a director for the project asap.
Just yesterday, it emerged that director Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) may well be Marvel's top pick to oversee Black Widow now. However, in a small update, it has been revealed that two other filmmakers who met with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson, earlier in the process are still very much in contention for the job.
Deadline broke the news about Shortland, but has since learned that Amma Asante and Maggie Betts are also frontrunners to direct Black Widow at this juncture. Like Shortland, Asante and Betts also recently met with Feige and Johansson to discuss their visions for the film. As mentioned earlier, Asante and Betts were further among the 65 directors that met with Marvel Studios earlier on in their hunt for a Black Widow helmsman. It sounds like Shortland is still at the front of the line, but Deadline's sources are cautioning "not to count out" the other two.
Asante and Betts, like Shortland, are new to the tentpole scene but have a decorated background in arthouse and indie filmmaking. In addition to having directed the acclaimed historical dramas Belle and A United Kingdom, Asante is already attached to another spy movie in the form of the Cold War era thriller, The Billion Dollar Spy. Meanwhile, Betts is coming off a successful feature directing debut last year, on the religious drama Novitiate (starring Oscar-winner Melissa Leo).
All three Black Widow director frontrunners are strong picks, which puts Marvel in a comfortable place when it comes to selecting their candidate. At the same time, it would be great to see Asante or Betts land the job, since that would make them the first woman of color to direct an MCU film. Fellow comic book movie studio DC has already gotten a head-start on Marvel in that respect, now that they have Cathy Yan set to helm the Birds of Prey movie. The pressure is on Marvel Studios to follow suit, so here's to hoping they do it soon (be it with Black Widow or another Phase 4 film).
We will bring you more details on Black Widow as they become available.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019