Avengers: Endgame Writers Explain Why [SPOILERS] Had To Die

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Avengers: Endgame brought us the demise of two major Phase 1 heroes, and to the surprise of many, neither of them was Captain America. Rather, the Avengers: Infinity War sequel saw Black Widow and Iron Man each sacrifice their lives to reverse the snap. And while a lot of fans were predicting the latter, it must be said that most of us didn’t have any money placed on Natasha Romanoff kicking the bucket.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Endgame co-writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus were asked point blank why Scarlett Johansson’s character had to die, to which McFeely responded:

“Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren’t going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven’t solved the problem. But we lost a big character — a female character — how do we honor it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.”

Given the big, emotional post-climax sendoff that Tony Stark receives, some fans have argued that Nat got a little short-changed with her relatively downplayed death. Nonetheless, Markus contends that it would’ve been out of character for Black Widow to get her own flashy ceremony:

“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.”

According to McFeely, there was an early draft for the script where Hawkeye was the one to sacrifice his life on Vormir instead of Nat, but the outcome proved less popular over at Marvel Studios:

“There was, for sure. Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over. And she goes, ‘Don’t you take this away from her.’ I actually get emotional thinking about it.”

Apparently, Markus agrees with Underdahl’s stance, arguing that killing off family man Clint Barton would’ve been a bit much:

“And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her. It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.”

Another reason why Avengers: Endgame doesn’t spend too long dwelling on the death of Black Widow is presumably that the heroine will get the spotlight to herself in Nat’s long-awaited solo movie. At this point, it feels safe to assume that Cate Shortland’s upcoming flick will serve as an origin story for the character, but we can hopefully get a little more insight on the project once filming begins later this year.

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