Warning: This article contains MAJOR spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. You know, if you somehow still haven’t seen it.
One of the more controversial scenes in Avengers: Endgame is Black Widow‘s death, which sees Natasha beating Clint to the cliff on Vormir to sacrifice herself in a successful effort to attain the Soul Stone for the team. While some criticized the death of one of the team’s few women (and the only female member of the original Avengers squad), others found it one of the most moving moments in the entire, emotional film.
In a recent interview with EW promoting the upcoming Black Widow film, Scarlett Johansson gave some insight into the production of Black Widow’s death scene, revealing that it originally went a bit differently.
“In Endgame, we actually shot the Soul Stone sacrifice several different ways,” explains Johansson. “Originally, we were being pursued by like an army of dementor-type creatures that I was thinking, like, ‘Parents will never forgive me for this, for how these creatures look. They’re so terrifying.’ And so we were being threatened by those guys, but what the Russo brothers kept kind of coming up against was, like: gosh, the movie is so full of all these huge, explosive moments.”
Johansson continues: “They just missed some sort of intimacy between these two characters. So we ended up reshooting it and just making it with Nat and Clint and just having it be a very unexpected kind of moment that just left the audience with… you know, we wanted to leave them with the weight of that loss. And the shock of it really felt very moving and bittersweet.”
It sounds like the barebones framework of the Black Widow death scene has not changed from the original version of the scene, but that the reshoot version gave more space for the articulation of Natasha’s choice, as well as a final exploration of her relationship with Clint. However you may feel about the choice to kill Natasha off in Endgame, this seems like a better storytelling choice than what was originally on film.
The full video is well worth a watch, if you’re a fan of Black Widow or the larger MCU. Johansson also reflects back on her first fight scene in Iron Man 2, the Loki/Natasha scene in The Avengers, Nat and Steve driving in The Winter Soldier, Bruce and Natasha getting closer in Age of Ultron, the airport fight in Civil War, and Scarlet Witch and Okoye’s team up with Scarlet Witch in Infinity War. It also previews what to look forward to in Black Widow, which is, as of this writing, still set to hit theaters May 1st.