The Avengers: Endgame scene on Vormir featured a battle between Black Widow and Hawkeye, but that wasn’t always the plan. The scene originally saw Black Widow battling a group of Thanos’s henchmen to claim the Soul Stone for the Avengers. Speaking to Inverse, directors Joe and Anthony Russo explain why that had to change. “That was another example where we began to smell this as we were executing it and confirmed it once we started to focus more on editing this,” Anthony Russo explains. “We wanted to make it Black Widow’s final test with Hawkeye, a character who she’s been so close to, but the cuts all of a sudden became between them and a bunch of Thanos’ minions, who we didn’t have any relationship with.
“So we started talking about it in post-production with our editor Jeff Ford. We started spitballing: Isn’t the best version of this scene Hawkeye versus black widow? We have two heroes, neither of whom is gonna let the other die? They both know they have a mission that involves one of them sacrificing themselves and these characters had such a rich relationship throughout the MCU. So why don’t we just make the conflict between these two characters?”
The Russos have discussed the evolution of that scene before. “We thought that scene would be tragic if two best friends have to fight each other for the right to die, to save the universe. And it was heartbreaking,” Joe Russo said in a previous interview. “We conceived of a way to choreograph it for maximum emotional value, where the lead in this race keeps switching hands in a way that you’re not sure who actually is gonna make it over that cliff. “Black Widow’s the sole female member of the original Avengers, which is an extremely important thing for us and for fans. So after we committed to the idea of her death, [we focused on] figuring out how it was going to be most meaningful and resonate. And that final moment where she saves Clint as he leaps over and fastens him to the cliff wall while she’s hanging onto his arm — how do you as Clint stop someone who’s willing to die in that moment from shaking loose from your grasp? To us, that felt like the cathartic climax of the fight between two best friends.”
What did you think of the Vormir scene in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments.