Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo scrapped a “more complicated” version of the Vormir-set scene that sees Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) compete to sacrifice themselves to unlock the Soul Stone.
“There was another version of Vormir that involved Thanos’ troops showing up and then Black Widow having to run the Gauntlet and getting shot as she runs the Gauntlet to leap off the cliff,” Joe Russo said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
Russo added the action-heavy sequence “just felt like it was distracting from what was most powerful about the scene, which was two friends, one of them having to die, and then literally fighting each other to be the one who dies.”
“And that just seemed like a more emotional and on-story execution of it, and we ended up scrapping the more complicated version of Vormir,” Russo said.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely earlier revealed the creative team strongly considered having family man Clint Barton be the one to perish when leaping off the cliff on the remote planet, but that turn would have been “melodramatic.”
“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,” McFeely told the New York Times.
“And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her,” Markus added. “It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.”
When responding to mixed reaction over Black Widow’s irreversible death, the writers admitted they “couldn’t be afraid to kill” Natasha despite her place as a founding Avenger and the leading female Marvel superhero.
“I understand she was a beloved character and none of us want our heroes to die. But that is the natural end of her journey and it is the sort of apotheosis of who she is becoming,” Markus explained to the Los Angeles Times.
“She started out as a very dark character. Even before the movies begin, she’s a spy, she’s an assassin. She has red in her ledger and to take her all the way to that sacrifice point is where her character is headed. And to not let her do that seemed a disservice to her as a hero.”
Added McFeely, “Right. We couldn't be afraid to kill her simply because she was the most important and the first female character.”
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