Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.

Cate Shortland will make her Hollywood directing debut on a Marvel superhero adventure which will star Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.

Shortland won the gig from a field of 49 candidates including Amma Asante (Belle), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate), according to Deadline.

The Berlin Syndrome and Lore director met with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Johansson last month.

The Russian spy-turned action hero gets her first standalone movie after  supporting roles in a slew of superhero films including The Avengers and Captain America franchises.

The screenplay is being written by Jac Schaeffer, who wrote The Hustle, a remake of the 1980s comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which stars Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson and Tim Blake Nelson and will be released by MGM next year.

Johansson reportedly admired Shortland’s work with Saskia Rosendahl as the lead in the WWII drama Lore. Deadline notes the director does not have a Hollywood agent, predicting that will soon change.

There was a backlash following Johansson’s casting as Dante “Tex” Gill, a crime kingpin in the 1970s who ran a string of Pittsburgh massage parlours, in New Regency’s upcoming mob drama Rub & Tug. The real life Gill was born as Lois Jean Gill, but identified as male.

Amid the uproar she withdrew from the project, which was to have reunited her with her Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders. Among the protests, a group of trans male actors appeared in a video mocking the actor and the casting.

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