The film has been in development for awhile, but picked up momentum in January when Jac Schaeffer was tapped to pen the script. Kevin Feige is producing the pic.
Marvel had no comment on the news.
The studio met with more than 70 filmmakers for the job before landing on Shortland, who sources say was an early favorite after a promising meeting with Johansson.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, including whether the film will be an origin tale or set after the next “Avengers” movie.
Fans of the character have been pushing for her to get her own movie since she first appeared in “Iron Man 2.” With the latest phase of Marvel films coming to a close, Marvel saw this as the best time to move forward with the project.
The film is one of several female-centric Marvel properties is either developing or in production on currently, including “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson. That movie bows on March 8, 2019.
Shortland’s past credits include “Lore” and “The Berlin Syndrome,” both of which featured female leads, another big selling point for Marvel and Johansson.
She is repped by Management 360 and HLA Management. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.