Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow may have met her demise during the events of Avengers: Endgame, and despite the character being gone from the main Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline for good alongside the likes of Captain America and Iron Man, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these heroes have disappeared forever.
Cap has been rumored for a cameo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Jeff Goldblum of all people may have spoiled Tony Stark’s return in upcoming animated series What If…?, but the future for Black Widow is crystal clear. Despite being killed off in the biggest movie of all time, Natasha Romanoff will return to the big screen in a self-titled solo adventure, set to be a prequel that takes place in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War.
It marks a delicate balancing act for Marvel Studios to create a standalone film that fans can invest in when they know that the title character is already dead, while also introducing new characters that could play a role in the MCU going forward like David Harbour’s Red Guardian and Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova. And now, in a recent interview, Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely admitted that while it wasn’t an easy decision to kill her off, the duo were satisfied about how they concluded Natasha’s arc.
“We certainly thought long and hard about it. We knew that we were killing the first female hero of the Marvel Universe. We stupidly came up with these rules in the first movie – someone’s going over that cliff. So we had to decide. By the way, you had to easily love the person next to you, so we couldn’t send Steve Rogers and Hulk. So it’s a puzzle of our own making, but it felt like it was the resolution of her arc, that if she could sacrifice herself for her new family and for half the universe, that was worth it to her.”
Natasha’s death served as the catalyst for the Avengers to finally regroup and take down Thanos for good, driving the emotional journey of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes throughout the third act. However, Markus and McFeely also admitted that they have one regret over how the scene on Vormir plays out, and it has a lot to do with the sheer size of Endgame’s Infinity Saga-concluding story.
“She jumps on the grenade. I’m really proud of that moment. I don’t have any regrets. The only regret is that it comes at the end of Act Two. So you can’t really roll around in the grief because we’ve got another hour of movie and we haven’t solved the A-plot problem. So that’s the downside.”
It’s true that Natasha’s death didn’t really have a lot of time to register properly, with Avengers: Endgame featuring so many moving parts that the narrative has to quickly move onto the next scene in order to build towards the final showdown. That being said, many fans were in tears at the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent’s untimely demise, but they’ll at least have the chance to bid her a final farewell when Black Widow hits theaters in May 2020.