Avengers: Endgame Director Explains Why Black Widow’s Death Got Overlooked

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Avengers: Endgame saw fans saying goodbye to a lot of heroes, most notably Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow. The three were central pillars of the MCU, as well as the oldest statesmen of the Marvel franchise. While Tony and Steve got appropriately meaty scenes dealing with their end and how the rest of the heroes reacted to their passing, Nat was not so lucky.

Natasha Romanoff sacrificed her life in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. But aside from a brief scene showing the other Avengers’ shock at her demise and Hulk flinging a chair across a lake in his grief, we never got to see a truly emotional reaction from the others. Black Widow didn’t get a funeral like Tony Stark, neither did she get to have a last chat with her closest work friend, Hawkeye, unlike what Steve Rogers got with Sam Wilson.

On the Avengers: Endgame home video commentary, director Joe Russo offered an explanation for this, explaining the following:

Now people have asked why Natasha didn’t get the same about of screen time post-death as Tony did. Well, Tony does not have another movie. Tony is done. And Natasha has another film. And Marvel Universe obviously does not have to move forward linearly anymore. But that character still has more screen time coming.

This explanation might sound reasonable, but doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. After all, Tony and Steve have appeared in more Marvel movies than any other characters, but they still got a fitting farewell in their final film. Just because Black Widow is getting a standalone flick doesn’t mean her importance to the other heroes and to the MCU, in general, should have been sidelined in her final team-up adventure.

The truth is, Steve and Tony’s extended screen time probably came at the expense of Natasha’s scenes. Iron Man and Captain America are considered to be more popular than Black Widow among audiences, and their respective screen time in the movie that bids farewell to the characters reflects this idea. It remains to be seen whether Widow’s standalone feature will serve to bring some of the closure to the character that fans didn’t get in Avengers: Endgame, but we remain hopeful that it does.

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