It's looking more and more like a standalone "Black Widow" movie starring Scarlett Johansson is actually happening.

News came in early May that Marvel had met with dozens of directors, and now there are reports that the studio has narrowed its search down to three top contenders. The filmmakers left in contention are Cate Shortland, Amma Asante, and Maggie Betts, Deadline reports. The publication says they emerged from a pack of 49.

The directors are all female, which is notable considering that all previous MCU films have been directed by men. Marvel does have Anna Boden directing 2019's upcoming "Captain Marvel" alongside Ryan Fleck, but it looks like a female "Black Widow" director could be the first woman to helm an MCU flick solo. The project comes in the wake of the DCEU's very successful "Wonder Woman," which was directed by Patty Jenkins.

Each of the women reportedly in contention has solid experience. Shortland's most recent film, 2017's "Berlin Syndrome," earned her a nomination for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television award for best direction, and Betts won a Sundance Jury Award for her direction of the 2017 film "Novitiate." Meanwhile, Asante has multiple films to her name, including 2018's "Where Hands Touch."

It remains to be seen who will end up in the director's chair, but we're glad to see the "Black Widow" movie gaining momentum.

[via: Deadline]