Avengers: Endgame was filled with devastating moments, proving to be one of the most emotional movies yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But a lot of the groundwork was laid in Avengers: Infinity War, during which the heroes suffered their worst defeat that resulted in the deaths of billions across the universe. And there was one scene in particular that affected viewers strongly — and it also hit co-director Joe Russo particularly hard.
After the events of Infinity War, viewers are introduced to a seemingly mundane scene on Clint Barton's farm in which the former Hawkeye is helpless as his family is snapped out of reality. It reintroduces viewers to the state of the MCU with an emotional gut punch, and Joe Russo admitted its the hardest scene for him to watch.
"I've got four kids, and it's a very tragic scene to open the movie with," Russo explained on the Empire Film Podcast. "It's one of the few scenes in the movie that actually makes me tear up when I watch it, because I think about my own family. And then you think about what would happen to you, as a father. You'd become very self-destructive."
Russo also previously explained to ComicBook that this particular scene was meant to take place in Avengers: Infinity War, but they realized it didn't fit.
"The story at the beginning of Endgame, where he's with his family at the picnic, that was originally supposed to be at the end of Infinity War. It was gonna be a tease of where has his character been all this time. Thanos snaps his fingers, it goes to black, and suddenly it comes up on this very idyllic scene where Clint is interacting with his family," Russo explained. "And you go 'Where am I? Why is this happening?' And then his family starts to disappear and you realize 'Oh crap, it's happening.' And then you go around and see all of the other characters disappear. It was too confusing, so we decided to move it to the beginning of the next film. It sets the tone, it re-reminds you of where you are, wheat the story was that you felt the year ago, it makes you feel it again."
Hawkeye's journey almost led him toward doom, as Avengers: Endgame screenwriter Stephen McFeely explained that Clint Barton was the one who died on Vormir instead of Black Widow.
"We had a version where [Hawkeye] went over,” McFeely said. “I remember specifically our visual effects supervisor Jen Underdahl was reading it going, ‘Don't do that. Honour her choice.’ And we took it very seriously. Many of the women on the crew were passionate about giving her the hero moment – don't take it away from her.”
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters.