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Warning: spoilers for Captain America: Civil War are ahead!
Although Captain America: Civil War’s main drawn was its heroes clashing with one another over ideological differences, it wasn’t until the climactic fight at Leipzig/Halle Airport that both sides threw down in fisticuffs. There were many match-ups during the epic battle. Captain America vs. Iron Man, Winter Soldier v. Spider-Man, Hawkeye vs. Black Panther, etc. However, one fight that didn’t make the final cut was Captain America vs. Black Widow.
Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed to Fandango that they pitted Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff against each other in the script, but it was left out because of everything else that was packed into the movie. Markus said:
There was a good fight between Captain America and Black Widow that we lost mainly due to time.
Ah, time issues. One of the many obstacles that prevents certain scenes and other material from making it into a movie. At 147 minutes, Captain America: Civil War is not only the longest MCU movie, but one of the longest superhero movies ever. With all the new characters being introduced and the various plot lines in motion, it’s a wonder that Captain America: Civil War managed to juggle everything. Granted, this was just one fight, but I can’t think of another one-on-one matchup in the movie I would have taken out to make room for Steve and Natasha exchanging fisticuffs. When asked who won that fight, Stephen McFeely said that Cap “got away in the moment.”
Another reason this particular fight was left out of Captain America: Civil Warwas because the tensions between Steve and Natasha were already being addressed in other forms, though not violently. McFeely added:
[Cap and Black Widow] clearly have a deep relationship even though they're clearly on opposite sides, and you never know how many times you need to hit that over the course of the movie. I think it works without this fight, but we certainly didn't know if it would.
Although Captain America and Black Widow were on opposing teams during Captain America: Civil War, Natasha did try to look out for Steve at various points in the movie, and at the end of the airport fight, she let him and Bucky escape so they could track down Zemo. Now she’s in the wind, but her help allowed them to capture the movie’s true main antagonist. As far as the dynamic of friend fighting friend goes, moviegoers got to see Natasha deal with that when she tussled with Hawkeye during the battle. Those two have been close longer than she and Steve have, so to see them as opponents rather than allies (and without mind control involved) was a weird sight.
You can Captain America, Black Widow and a whole lot of other Marvel heroes in action in Captain America: Civil War, now playing in theaters across the U.S.