Black Widow and Hawkeye ended up fighting each other on the planet Vormir in Avengers: Endgame. The film's creators once visualized what would happen if the heroes confronted the Thanos on the alien world. Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding shared that visualization on his Instagram page. Meinerding says the scene wasn't in the movie but was an example of the storytellers wanting to evaluate how particular possibilities might appear. Meinerding writes, "This is a keyframe rough of Black Widow and Hawkeye on Vormir and Thanos arrives. This moment was not in the movie, but sometimes we're asked to try and paint something up to help the filmmakers visualize and evaluate the moment." You can see the artwork below.
Ultimately, Black Widow died on Vormir to gain the Soul Stone. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely spoke last year about how Black Widow's death would compare to Hawkeye's had they gone that route.
"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 said. "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...'" McFeely finished the thought. "'That's ironic.'"
But Black Widow will return in her first solo movie as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natasha isn't back from the dead. Instead, the movie takes place before the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
"She has such a rich backstory," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said. "We’ve hinted at it throughout all the other films. But we approach it in a completely unexpected way. She’s been up to a lot all along – in between when we see her in the other movies – some of which will be surprising to people."
Star Scarlett Johansson spoke about the themes of the film during an interview last November. "It’s a film about self-forgiveness and it’s a film about family," Johansson said. "I think in life we sort of come of age many times and you have these kind of moments where you’re in a transitional phase and then you move sort of beyond it and I think in the Black Widow standalone film I think the character is at, when we find her, a moment of real crisis, and throughout the film, by facing herself in a lot of ways and a lot of things that make her, her, she actually kind of comes through that crisis on the other side and we start to be able to reset where she’s a more grounded, self-possessed person. So that’s her journey, well, I hope anyway."
Black Widow opens in theaters on May 7, 2021.