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Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame may have already been in theaters for weeks, but the public hasn't recovered from from the film's wild events. The Russo Brothers masterfully brought the blockbuster to theaters, in a story that balanced character-driven story with epic action. But Endgame went through quite a few changes before finally arriving theaters, including Black Widow's story.
Black Widow has been the soul of The Avengers since early in the group's formation, sharing an intimate bond with all of the OG members. So her sacrifice to procure the Soul Stone was fitting and emotional, as was the tension between she and Hawkeye as they tried to stop each other. But it turns out that the Soul Stone sequence in Endgame could have contained even more action, with Thanos and his forces arriving to stop the Avengers. Endgame editor Matthew Schmidt recently revealed this, saying:
On script and what we first shot was an excellent scene. Thanos and his soldiers show up on Vormir and a small battle ensues between them and Natasha and Clint. Natasha decides to run off the cliff. Clint tries to stop her while also fending off the attack.
Well, that's a different type of heartbreaking. Because while Natasha was always meant to sacrifice herself for the Soul Stone, the journey toward her death changed throughout the course of Endgame's development. In the theatrical cut, Hawkeye and Black Widow were left to ponder Red Skull's comments, and decide who should end up jumping in order to complete the Time Heist. But it originally included the duo being attacked by Thanos' forces, adding in an extra level of drama and action to the scene.
It may have been thrilling to see Black Widow and Hawkeye team-up in battle one more time in the scene described to Business Insider, but I think that the correct version of Endgame's Soul Stone scene was ultimately in the theatrical cut. Cutting out the threat of Thanos and his outriders allowed the scene to breathe, and for Clint and Natasha to have one last tender moment with each other. What's more, the two Avengers scuffling in order to try and sacrifice themselves was unique type of action for the blockbuster.
Black Widow's death was the first big one in Avengers: Endgame, and showed what a massive arc the character had gone through within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She refers to the Avengers as her family to War Machine, and helped to regulate superheroic efforts in the wake of Thanos' snap. She was also the most determined to fight back and reverse the snap-- whatever it takes.
It should be interesting to see what comes next for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. While Hulk wasn't able to bring her back with his snap, the character will finally get her own solo movie in Phase Four. Smart money says it'll come in the form of a prequel, finally revealing Natasha's sordid past. ScarJo's contract with Marvel is also up with Endgame, so the actress should get a serious pay bump for another appearance.
You can watch Black Widow's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.