This article contains major Avengers: Endgame spoilers. We have a completely spoiler free review right here.
So, Black Widow is dead, and some people think that Avengers: Endgame got it all a bit wrong. Some people think the film got it right, mind. It certainly got a lot of people talking, which is no bad thing.
The pivotal scene in Endgame where Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) sacrifices herself on Vormir so that Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) can retreive the Soul Stone as part of the Avengers’ plan to get back The Fallen was sudden and quite upsetting. With a Black Widow solo movie on the way, we’re also ultimately left to wonder how permanent her death is in the MCU.
It turns out the whole thing was a hard old time for Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, too. In a massive new interview with the New York Times, they reveal that at one point they had Hawkeye be the one to shuffle off the mortal coil in exchange for the stone.
“Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over. And she goes, ‘Don’t you take this away from her.’ I actually get emotional thinking about it,” said McFeely, with Markus adding “And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her. It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.”
McFeely also explained why the pair believed that Black Widow’s MCU arc should reach a natural conclusion on Vormir, but you get a sense that they aren’t altogether happy with how it played out.
“Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren’t going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven’t solved the problem. But we lost a big character — a female character — how do we honour it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.”
As for those fans who are upset that Natasha didn’t get a fitting send off, as her death happens in the middle of the movie and gets somewhat lost in the ongoing plot, Markus had this to say:
“Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn’t. That’s partly because Tony’s this massive public figure and she’s been a cipher the whole time. It wasn’t necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral. The biggest question about it is what Thor raises there on the dock. ‘We have the Infinity Stones. Why don’t we just bring her back?'”
McFeely then puts it to rest with “But that’s the everlasting exchange. You bring her back, you lose the stone.”
The rest of the interview is right here, and well worth a read.