Black Widow director Cate Shortland explains the decision not to give Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) a public funeral or memorial despite her universe-saving sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. After Natasha gives up her life to unlock the Soul Stone on Vormir, sparing Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), the Avengers privately mourn Natasha before using the six Infinity Stones to bring back the victims snapped out of existence by Thanos (Josh Brolin). Black Widow, set in 2016 before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, ends in the present-day MCU with a post-credits scene revealing "little sister" Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) at a gravestone for Natasha, remembered as a "Daughter Sister Avenger."
"Scarlett talked to me about it: Her character would have hated a public funeral," Shortland told Variety about Natasha's modest gravesite in Ohio. "So I felt like the fact that she's buried in a really private place, in the boondocks somewhere, is perfect."
Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely previously defended the decision not to show a funeral for Natasha, telling The New York Times in 2019: "Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn't. That's partly because Tony's this massive public figure and she's been a cipher the whole time. It wasn't necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral."
Director Joe Russo later said Black Widow — originally scheduled for release in 2020 — was an opportunity for Marvel Studios to send off Johansson's character after Endgame brought "closure" to Iron Man.
"Natasha has another movie coming out. Tony does not have another movie coming out," Russo told Entertainment Tonight in July 2019. "When you're dealing with storytelling real estate in a three-hour movie, there's only so much of it, and someone else has another film coming, there's always the opportunity to bring closure in that other movie. In this movie, we had to bring closure to Tony Stark."
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