Avengers: Endgame Writer Clarifies Misconception Around Black Widow’s Death

Avengers: Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely clarifies a misconception Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) sacrificed herself on Vormir wholly to save the family of best friend Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

“We should probably talk about how this is the first major female character of the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe. We did not make this decision lightly. She’s not fighting to save Clint’s family,” McFeely says on Endgame’s commentary track.

“I’ve seen some people say that he has a family, and therefore... That’s not it at all. She’s fighting to save her family.”

Black Widow’s family being the Avengers, including those who were killed five years earlier when Thanos (Josh Brolin) successfully snapped away half of all life in the universe.

McFeely and co-writer Christopher Markus earlier explained the death of family man Hawkeye would have been “tragic,” but Black Widow being the one to ultimately make the sacrifice herself to win the Soul Stone was deemed “deeply heroic” and a “more satisfying” beat.

“With Clint it would be a tragic beat, because he wants to get back with his family and it would deny him that. With Natasha, it’s sad, but it’s a deeply heroic beat,” Markus told SYFY WIRE at San Diego Comic-Con.

“That this is what she’s been fighting for. She went from red in her ledger to the absolute peak of heroism. You have to go to her every time. It’s a bigger, more satisfying, more monumental story beat. With Clint, it’s just sort of like, ‘Oh, that’s...’”

Interjected McFeely, “‘That’s ironic.’”

The scene underwent multiple revisions, including scrapping an attack on Black Widow and Hawkeye from Thanos’ forces, to get it right.

“Black Widow’s the sole female member of the original Avengers, which is an extremely important thing for us and for fans,” director Joe Russo told Backstory Magazine. “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.”

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Johansson next reprises her role in Black Widow, set some time after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Marvel Studios opens Black Widow May 1, 2020.

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