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Joe Russo not only directed the Marvel Studios movie with his brother Anthony, he has a cameo in Endgame himself as a grieving man, and his daughter Ava Russo played Lila Barton. Family clearly means a lot to him, and that's why one particular scene appears to have hit him harder than the others: The opening scene, where we catch up to where Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) was during The Decimation of Avengers: Infinity War. His entire family disappeared in front of him. Here's Joe Russo's take on that moment:
I've got four kids, and it's a very tragic scene to open the movie with. It's one of the few scenes in the movie that actually makes me tear up when I watch it, because I think about my own family. And then you think about what would happen to you, as a father. You'd become very self-destructive.
Clint Barton did become self-destructive after losing his family. He became the vigilante Ronin, and needed his friend Natasha to pull him back onto the Avengers team. She sacrificed her life so that Clint could reunite with his family. I teared up many times watching Avengers: Endgame, including the moment when his phone lit up and we saw that the call was from his wife, Laura (Linda Cardellini).
From the script phase to filming to reshoots to editing, Joe Russo must've seen some scenes in Avengers: Endgame hundreds of times. So the fact that he told Empire he still cries watching the opening with Hawkeye speaks to the power of that scene. It's easy to empathize with Clint in that moment, whether you are a father or not.
That Joe Russo is the father of the actress who played Clint Barton's daughter must've just added another level to that scene. Lila Barton was trained in archery by her skilled father, and some fans are wondering if we might see more from her in the future.
Of course, the opening scene wasn't the only tragic moment in Avengers: Endgame. Fans teared up over Black Widow and Iron Man as well, which is a main reason why Captain America was spared the fate many feared he'd face in Avengers 4.
Avengers: Endgame is still playing in theaters and I am unwavering in my belief that it will eventually top Avatar. Peter Parker is shown crying over Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Far From Home trailers, but otherwise that July movie does seem like it'll be a lighter follow-up for Marvel. Keep up with all things coming to the MCU with our handy guide.