Avengers: Endgame Writers Explain Why Black Widow Had To Die

Avengers: Endgame shocked fans when it Black Widow paid the ultimate price as the heroes attempted to defeat Thanos, once and for all. Going into the film, many suspected either Tony Stark or Steve Rogers would meet their demise but Black Widow was not a hot pick in the deadpools. However, Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely always had the death in mind, given the character's history, which might be explained further in her upcoming solo movie.

"Obviously, she as a character has a bit more -- she hasn't had a solo movie, there's stories to be told there -- but on her Avengers arc, that moment, we'd set up the math in the first movie," Markus explained, referencing Black Widow's self-sacrificing leap on Vormir to get Hawkeye and the Avengers the Soul Stone from 2014. "Somebody has to die to get the Soul Stone. It's the only way you get it. You need two people who love each other to make the equation work. When we figured out where that five year gap had left all the people, it really had left her at this spot where all she was working for was holding the line, staying on the wall, holding the world together and this was what she would do. There was no question about it. I don't know who told Scarlett [Johansson], it wasn't me."

Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson had the blow of learning Black Widow's dark fate softened by learning she wuld be getting a standalone film which debuts in May of 2020. "I guess, it may be sort of simultaneous?" Johansson told Comicbook.com. "I don't know, all time is an illusion. It gets all blended together at this point ... but Kevin [Feige] may have been saying that just to soften the blow. I know how it goes!"

Ultimately, it was always going to be Black Widow and Iron Man who paid the price in their efforts to defeat Thanos but others were considered to be sent off with them. "We may have played with some others... but arc-wise and mathematically it is the perfect ending for Tony Stark," Markus said. "He needs to make a sacrifice - he needs to make the ultimate sacrifice, when you go from selfish to that."

As fans expected Captain America to bow out, the writers say such a move "was too easy." Following his previous Avengers movie appearances, "that guy will jump on a grenade in every movie," McFeely points out. They wanted t surprise viewers -- and they did.

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Avengers: Endgame is available on digital downloads on July 30 and on blu-ray on August 13. Black Widow hits theaters on May 1, 2020.