SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame!
As massive and long as Avengers: Endgame was, there was still a ton of footage left on the cutting room floor and things that were changed for the theatrical cut of the film. One of those things was the scene with Hawkeye and Black Widow on Vormir, which, according to editor Matthew Schmidt, originally went down differently with Thanos and his soldiers showing up. Jeremy Renner confirmed this alternate Hawkeye and Black Widow scene, and explained what it was like to shoot it, saying:
It was a tough scene for us to shoot. It's a reshoot we did about six months ago. The original was a lot more complicated, with an attack by Thanos. This was just us.
It sounds like each version of the scene with Black Widow and Hawkeye on Vormir presented its own unique set of challenges. Originally, the scene that was in the script and was shot had Hawkeye fending off Thanos and his soldiers while also trying to stop Black Widow from running off of the cliff to sacrifice herself for the Soul Stone.
According to Jeremy Renner, the Thanos version of the scene was a lot more complicated, which makes total sense. It was an actual battle with more moving pieces and thus more elaborate. So given those extra elements, it would be more complicated to get right. But even though this scene was shot, it was ultimately not the one that ended up in the movie.
In contrast to the scene with Thanos and his soldiers, the final version was just Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (and Red Skull, offering no help at all). Although Jeremy Renner doesn’t explicitly say so, I imagine the reason the reshoot version was tough to shoot was in part because of the emotion in the scene. While the Thanos attack would have been more complex, just having Natasha and Clint makes the scene more intimate and emotional.
That's probably why this scene was redone. An attack by Thanos would have made the scene more action-packed and intense, but the impact is different. Just having Hawkeye and Black Widow have this struggle where they both want to do the selfless thing out of love for one another, the scene has more weight and tells us more about the characters, something outside elements would have detracted from.
Still, I think we’d all be curious to see the alternate cut of the scene since it was filmed. The Avengers: Endgame home video release will include six deleted scenes, but just judging by the titles, it doesn’t sound like this will be one of them, especially considering it’s more of an alternate scene versus a deleted one.
Avengers: Endgame is still playing in theaters, but it won’t be too long until you can rewatch it over and over again in the comfort of your own home. Endgame hits digital on July 30, and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on August 13. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what else is headed to theaters this year.