(Warning: Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame!)
There’s no question that Avengers: Endgame has some tough losses for fans to take.
In Endgame, Black Widow and Hawkeye travel to Vormir to retrieve the Soul Stone, only to learn that it required “a soul for a soul.” The two have an emotional moment before fighting it out to see who would be the sacrifice. Eventually, Black Widow wins the scrap and leaps off the cliff.
However, based on what the screenwriters for the film say, this wasn’t always the plan. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely sat down with the New York Times and opened up about how the original approach for the scene went, confirming at least one draft had Hawkeye dying instead.
“Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over. And she goes, ‘Don’t you take this away from her.’ I actually get emotional thinking about it,” explained McFeely.
Markus added, “And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her. It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.”
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As for why Black Widow’s story had to end the way it did, McFeely replied, “Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren’t going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven’t solved the problem. But we lost a big character — a female character — how do we honor it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.”
As sad as it is to see her go, Black Widow will return for her own film down the line, almost certainly a prequel. We’ll let you know more information on it as soon as it’s available.
Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters. What do you think about Black Widow’s sacrifice? Should it have been Hawkeye instead? Let us know in the comments below!