Marvel is apparently moving forward with its Black Widow film and Deadline has reported an update on the female directors who are being considered to make it. According to the publication, Cate Shortland (Lore) is reportedly the favorite to direct the film, with Kimberly Pierce, Amma Asante (Belle), and Maggie Betts (Novitate) also in the running.
These directors were apparently whittled down from a list of 49, with Shortland, Assante, and Betts reportedly even meeting star Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) and Marvel’s Kevin Feige recently. While we can see the appeal of all four directors handling the material, there are seven specific female directors who we think could land a knockout with the Black Widow movie if given a chance. Here’s our ranking of the seven female filmmakers we’d most like to see direct the Black Widow movie.
Ergüven’s 2015 breakthrough coming-of-age movie Mustang proved her to be a talent on the rise, while her 2017 Halle Berry (X-Men) and Daniel Craig (Spectre) led movie Kings suggested she can masterfully maintain tension. A big budget superhero movie could give the filmmaker an opportunity to refine her style for a wider audience.
We realize Barrymore is a far-fetched choice considering she hasn’t directed a movie since 2009’s Whip It, but god damn we love that film and continue to believe she could do great things with a Black Widow movie if given the opportunity. Barrymore could really bring out the dry, acerbic wit of the character while providing bombastic, fun action scenes.
5. Chloe Zhao
Zhao was speculated to be one of the filmmakers being considered by Disney for the Black Widow movie back in April. The filmmaker would be an interesting choice as her style is more understated and thoughtful than the average superhero movie seems to feature. But having garnered critical acclaim for her two feature dramas Songs My Brothers Taught Me & The Rider, the director could surprise us all with her versatility by going big for her next feature with Black Widow.
4. Dee Rees
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker does wondrous things with stories centered around female leads as seen in her debut feature Pariah. Her Netflix Originals hit Mudbound further highlights Rees as a director who can handle the demands of an ensemble cast and a big story without sacrificing her rich visual palette. Just imagine a Black Widow movie from this woman! We can and it’s stupendous.
3. Amma Asante
The actor-turned-filmmaker has been rumored as a top choice for the film since April and has a bold eye for presenting emotionally charged, complex narratives. Asante recently wowed critics with her interracial marriage story A United Kingdom, but she truly made herself a name to look out for with the period drama Belle – a rare movie that interrogates the racial tensions of 18th century aristocratic England. If chosen to direct Black Widow, Asante could assuredly peel back the layers on Natasha Romanoff’s cool exteriors to reveal the complexity of the character.
2. Karyn Kusama
One of the most versatile independent filmmakers today, Kusama has made a name for herself as a confident risk-taker with an eye for genre storytelling. Her 2000 breakthrough movie Girlfight proved her prowess for action scenes with an emotional core to them while Jennifer’s Body showcased her grasp of both horror and comedy. However, it’s her 2015 film The Invitation that remains the most impressive, revealing Kusama to be the sort of taut storyteller who could infuse the Black Widow movie with tension but also lashings of wit and action to maintain Black Widow’s vibe.
We don’t care what anyone says – Punisher: War Zone remains one of the greatest R-rated superhero movies ever made. Alexander utilizes the most cartoonish displays of violence and explosions possible to really bring the comic books to life and it absolutely works. The film was foolishly maligned upon release, but it has rightfully become a cult classic – arguably the filmmaker was way ahead of her time. Since then, Alexander has continued to work as a genre director on superhero shows like Arrow and Supergirl, which suggests she’s more than ready to approach another big budget superhero movie and we think the Black Widow movie should be it.