Shortland's hiring caps off months of searching that saw Marvel reportedly meet with as many as 75 different filmmakers for the project.
The Black Widow movie will star Scarlett Johansson and is said to be another prequel - similar to Captain Marvel - set in the past prior to The Avengers movie featuring Natasha Romanoff as a Russian spy turned super heroine.
The Australian director made her name with her wonderful 2004 debut Summersault, and her most recent movie - kidnap thriller Berlin Syndrome - was one of our hidden gems of 2017. Shortland, an australian director, won the job out of over seventy directors that Marvel met with for the film including Amma Asante, Maggie Betts, Melanie Laurent, and Kimberly Pierce.
Johansson reportedly recommended the director because she liked Shortland's World War II drama Lore, (2012) about a teenage girl who leads her four siblings to safety after their parents' disappearance. However, THR noted the search for a preferably female director "stalled" at one point, which briefly resulted in the studio's considering male directors.
The film has been in development for a while but picked up momentum in January when Jac Schaeffer was tapped to pen the script. Kevin Feige is producing the project. Widow, along with all of the core Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and presumably Hawkeye) survived the events of that film and are all expected to be seen in next summer's still-untitled Avengers 4.