Friday, July 13, 2018

Cate Shortland to Direct BLACK WIDOW Solo Movie

At long last, the Black Widow solo movie is actually happening.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed yesterday that Marvel Studios has selected Cate Shortland to direct the upcoming Black Widow solo movie.  Scarlett Johansson will reprise the role once again, and the action-adventure film is reportedly set before the events of the first Avengers movie.

According to the article, the search for Black Widow's director lasted over half a year, with the studio meeting over 70 directors to find its ideal candidate.  Bringing in a female filmmaker was a priority, even though the search stalled at one point and the studio considered male directors.  Finalists were narrowed down in June, which included Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate) along with Shortland. Melanie Laurent (Galveston) and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) were reportedly semi-finalists.

Shortland was championed by Johansson, who admired Shortland’s handling of the female lead in Lore, a critically acclaimed 2012 drama that tells of a young woman who leads her siblings through Germany as the Allied forces roll in.  Her other films include The Berlin Syndrome, The Silence, and Somersault.

The article also states that Jac Schaeffer wrote the most recent draft for Black Widow. She also wrote the upcoming female-centric remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Anne Hathaway, which was formerly titled Nasty Women and is now called The Hustle.

Created in 1964 by Stan Lee, Don Rico and Don Heck, the Black Widow first appeared in Tales of Suspense #52 as Natasha Romanova, who was raised from very early childhood by the U.S.S.R.'s "Black Widow Ops" program.  A man named Ivan Petrovitch took her to Department X, with other young female orphans, where she was brainwashed, and trained in combat and espionage at the covert "Red Room" facility.  There, she was biotechnologically and psycho-technologically enhanced—an accounting that provides a rationale for her unusually long and youthful lifespan.  During that time she had some training under the Winter Soldier, and the pair even had a short romance.  Each Black Widow was deployed with false memories to help ensure her loyalty.

As a recurring, non-costumed, Russian-spy antagonist of Iron Man, she recruited the archer and later superhero Hawkeye to her cause.  Her government later supplied her with her first Black Widow costume and high-tech weaponry, but she eventually defected to the United States.  The Black Widow later became an recurring ally of the Avengers, before officially becoming its sixteenth member years later.

Eventually, she began freelancing as an agent of the international espionage group S.H.I.E.L.D.  On one particular S.H.I.E.L.D. mission, she was sent to China by Nick Fury and there, with the Avengers, she battled Colonel Ling, General Brushov, and her ex-husband the Red Guardian.  She later became romantically involved with Matt Murdock in San Francisco, where she operated as an independent superhero alongside Murdock's alter ego, Daredevil.  There, she tried unsuccessfully to find a new career for herself as a fashion designer.  Eventually, her relationship with Murdock ended, with Natasha believing that playing "sidekick" was sublimating her identity.  After their breakup, the Widow moved to Los Angeles and became the leader of the newly created and short-lived super team known as The Champions.  She eventually returned to the Avengers, becoming a member of various incarnations of the team.

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