As the finale of the first decade of the MCU, Avengers: Endgame features many tear-jerking sequences. A lot of fans would probably say the most devastating moments were the likes of Iron Man or Black Widow’s deaths. For co-director Joe Russo, though, the most tragic part of the movie happens right at the beginning.
Endgame kicks off by returning to the fallout of the Snap that occurs at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. We witness Hawkeye enjoying a picnic with his family, before he’s horror-stricken to find his loved ones turned to dust before his eyes. Russo explained to Empire that, as a father, this sequence is one of the few times in the film that’ll always make him well up. He must find it pretty powerful, then, given how many times Russo likely saw it while shooting and editing.
“I’ve got four kids, and it’s a very tragic scene to open the movie with. It’s one of the few scenes in the movie that actually makes me tear up when I watch it, because I think about my own family. And then you think about what would happen to you, as a father. You’d become very self-destructive.”
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We’ve previously been told that the tragic dusting of Clint Barton’s family was originally planned to happen in Infinity War. However, it was ultimately decided that it’d be more effective as an opening to Endgame, to reintroduce Hawkeye to audiences and to remind them of how dire the stakes are. If even Russo gets weepy-eyed while watching, that proves the filmmakers made the right call here.
Speaking of Clint Barton, an alternate version of Avengers: Endgame could’ve materialized if Jeremy Renner’s hero was the one to die on Vormir instead of Natasha, something that writers Markus and McFeely considered. However, a female co-worker helped convince them that this was a powerful moment and sacrifice for Agent Romanoff to make and shouldn’t be given to Hawkeye instead.