‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Real Reason Black Widow Died Instead of Hawkeye

Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) passing in Avengers: Endgame was one death most Marvel fans did not see coming. Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, gave her life so that Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) could secure the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir. The move was easily one of the movie’s most controversial choices, yet there was a good reason why Endgame writers decided to end Natasha’s journey.

Avengers Endgame Black Widow Hawkeye
‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

‘Endgame’ writers talk about Black Widow’s death scene

When Avengers: Endgame writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus were developing the script, they had not determined if Black Widow or Hawkeye would make the ultimate sacrifice to snag an Infinity Stone.

They even shot another scene in which Hawkeye was the one who jumped off the cliff instead of Black Widow. So how did they decide which character to kill off?

“We certainly thought long and hard about it,” McFeely shared. “We knew we were killing the first female hero of the Marvel Universe. We stupidly came up with these rules in the first movie — someone’s going over that cliff. So we had to decide.”

McFeely added that, for the sake of Marvel fans everywhere, they decided against sending beloved characters like Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) or Captain America (Chris Evans) over the cliff. But they knew they had a complicated decision on their hands no matter what.

So at the end of the day, it came down to Black Widow or Hawkeye. Turns out, opinions from the crew of Avengers: Endgame weighed heavily in their decision to kill off Black Widow and keep Hawkeye alive.

Why did Black Widow die in ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

When it came to Black Widow, McFeely and Markus felt like giving up her life to save half of the lives in the universe was a fitting end to her story. The character began her journey as someone who was always looking after herself, so giving up what she valued most was a full swing in the other direction.

According to Indie Wire, the Avengers: Endgame writers also asked female crew members what they thought about keeping Black Widow alive versus killing her off. In reply, a lot of the women on the set thought Natasha deserved to die and did not want them to take that away from her.

“A number of women on the crew, when we said, ‘Hey, we’re thinking maybe Hawkeye goes over,’ said, ‘Don’t you do that! Don’t rob her of this!'” McFeely explained.

McFeely noted that he does not have any regrets about how Black Widow’s journey ended. The only downside is that she did not die at the end of the film, so her death was a little overshadowed by the rest of the events.

Even still, we have to admit that hearing McFeely talk about it makes Black Widow’s death a little easier to stomach.

What about Hawkeye?

Apart from giving Black Widow a fitting ending, Avengers: Endgame writers also thought Hawkeye deserved to get his family back. After Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) killed Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the universe was back in order, Hawkeye got just that.

The character is also slated to appear in his own television series, titled Hawkeye, which is due to premiere on Disney+ in the coming years.

While Black Widow died in Avengers: Endgame, fans will get to see Johansson reprise the role one last time.

The actress is set to star in her first solo film as Natasha Romanoff, titled Black Widow, The movie, which is set prior to the events in Endgame, is due to hit theaters on May 1 and is technically the first film in Marvel’s Phase 4.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ almost featured a tribute to Groot

Aside from Black Widow and Hawkeye, Avengers: Endgame almost included a touching tribute to Groot.

Groot was one of the many characters who turned to ash at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and artist Jackson Sze recently shared some concept art that shows how Rocket may have paid tribute to Groot.

The photo features Rocket wearing a bracelet made of Groot’s discarded twigs. Although fans would have probably loved the idea of Rocket giving a subtle shout-out to his old pal, the idea was scrapped very early on.

Sze did not say why they did not go through with the idea, but at least fans get to see how it may have turned out if they had.

After Black Widow’s release in May, the studio will release a new franchise in The Eternals next November. The movie stars the likes of Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Richard Madden.

Fans can watch a version of Avengers: Endgame with some deleted scenes on Disney+.