Avengers: Endgame

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet seen ‘Avengers: Endgame’… nah, forget it.  You shoulda seen ‘Avengers: Endgame’ by now.

There were some crippling blows made to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, and unlike the dustings in ‘Infinity War’, these losses are meant to stick.  As heartbreaking as it will be to lose any of the major stars of this beloved franchise, there is perhaps one that is the most shocking and controversial to fans.

Okay, I’ll wait, in case any foolhardy reader decided to stick around…

… And that controversial death was that of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).  She made the ultimate sacrifice to allow Hawkeye to acquire the Soul Stone and to live to see his family again.  Viewers were stunned.  Doesn’t she have a solo movie coming out?!?!  Plus, she was the first female Marvel Cinematic superhero!  And after the time jump, she is shown to be the one person holding the entire world together, coordinating relief efforts around the globe and even in outer space.

Would fans feel better if it had been Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who’d died instead?  (Yes, most likely.)  In fact, that is how the screenwriters, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely planned for the scene to play out.

Speaking to the New York Times, they stated:

McFEELY: 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.

MARKUS: 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.

McFeely added:

“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.”

Some on social media have also asked why everyone gathered for a funeral for Tony Stark, while Natasha didn’t get a send-off.  The writers say that it didn’t fit Natasha’s character.

MARKUS 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. The biggest question about it is what Thor raises there on the dock. “We have the Infinity Stones. Why don’t we just bring her back?”

McFEELY But that’s the everlasting exchange. You bring her back, you lose the stone.

So it looks as though the ‘Black Widow’ solo movie will be 100% flashback, but at least Johansson is getting a lucrative sendoff.  She will reportedly take home $20 million for the film and will serve as an executive producer– the first Marvel actor to serve in that capacity.  Not even Robert Downey Jr. has done that!

‘Black Widow’ may be released on May 1, 2020, but that isn’t confirmed at this time.

Does this make Black Widow’s death a little easier to process?