English actor O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) will appear alongside Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow, the Marvel movie which marks the Hollywood debut of director Cate Shortland.
Marvel president Kevin Feige is producing the movie, the origin story of Johansson’s KGB spy assassin Natasha Romanoff, who was introduced in Iron Man 2 and ultimately became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and an Avenger.
Production is due to start in London in June. Shortland won the assignment last year from a field of 49 candidates including Amma Asante (Belle), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate).
Johansson reportedly admired Shortland’s work with Saskia Rosendahl as the lead in the WWII drama Lore.
The Black Widow screenplay by Ned Benson, who wrote The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby trilogy, is a rewrite of a script by Jac Schaeffer.
In The Handmaid’s Tale Fagbenle plays Luke Bankole, the husband of Elisabeth Moss’ Offred and father of her daughter before the Republic of Gilead’s formation. His credits include the Netflix crime drama The Five, The Interceptor and Looking.
The Marvel movie’s cast includes David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy), Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) and Rachel Weisz.