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Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow on Vormir, death scene in Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were tasked with just about the impossible when they wrote the 10-year culmination to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far). The behemoth blockbuster wrapped up the storylines of the original six Avengers, but it wasn’t without some quite heartbreaking endings for some of the characters.

Take Black Widow’s fate. Scarlett Johansson’s character makes a hero’s sacrifice over on Vormir and in turn saves the universe. Yet, as many fans noticed, Natasha doesn’t receive the same grand goodbye Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Cap do on the big screen. As it turns out, Stephen McFeely has his own gripes with it too:

She jumps on the grenade. I’m really proud of that moment. I don’t have any regrets. The only regret is that it comes at the end of Act Two. So you can’t really roll around in the grief because we’ve got another hour of movie and we haven’t solved the A-plot problem. So that’s the downside.

Unfortunately, because Black Widow’s death happens midway through an over three-hour film, the Endgame writers couldn’t find the right place to give fans a place to properly grieve over her. By the time the universe-altering conflict was resolved, Iron Man and Captain America were characters who were given the luxury of memorable conclusions that perfectly closed out their story arcs that were told over trilogies of their own alongside the other Avenger films.

Not to mention the character would soon be suiting up again for the Black Widow prequel film coming next year. However, the pair of writers assured Vanity Fair it was no easy decision to wrap up Black Widow's story on Vormir. They said they “thought long and hard about it” and knew full if they went through with it, they’d have a hand in killing off the first female hero in the MCU. When thinking through the options, Black Widow’s death was made in service of her character, though.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely pondered having Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye make the sacrifice over Natasha, but they said a number of women on the crew asked them not to “rob her of this." If Black Widow had stayed alive and her good friend Clint (who has a wife and young children in the movies) had sacrificed himself instead of her, she would have felt like she failed him and herself.

This way, Natasha gets a shot at deciding her own fate. Plus, looking ahead to Phase Four, Scarlett Johansson’s MCU character will finally get her spotlight with Black Widow coming in 2020. The movie takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and also stars Strangers Things’ David Harbour as Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff and Midsommar’s Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova.

Florence Pugh has described the movie as “raw” and “very painful and very beautiful." In addition, Scarlett Johansson has said the solo movie gave her closure for the character after Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow comes to theaters on May 1, 2020. Be sure to take a look at what all we know about the upcoming film.

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