‘Avengers: Endgame’: Why Didn’t Captain America And Hawkeye Die?

Chris Evans made his first appearance as Captain America in the 2011 movie, Captain America: The First Avenger. Fast forward eight years and the character has become an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Steve Rogers’ journey came to an end in Marvel’s latest superhero ensemble, Avengers: Endgame.

'Avengers: Endgame' stars Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans
Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans | Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Ahead of the release of Endgame, Evans sadly announced that he was done playing the iconic hero so that he could move on to other projects. Given Evans’ decision, fans thought they would see the death of Captain America in Endgame, something directors Joe and Anthony Russo made sure did not happen.

In a recent interview, the Russo brothers opened up about their decision to let Steve Rogers live and spare fans the agony of watching another one of their favorite characters bite the dust (RIP Tony Stark).

Why did Captain America survive ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

The Russo brothers explained how Cap’s fate was ultimately linked to Tony’s (Robert Downey Jr.) shocking death. The directors knew that fans would take Tony’s demise hard, so they did not want to kill off two main characters in the same film. According to Comic Book, they thought doing so would be difficult to stomach for fans, so they opted to give Steve a much happier ending.

“Once you kill a beloved character like [Tony], you’ve got to have hope at the end of the movie in some regard, and the only person to give you that hope is the other co-lead,” Joe shared.

In the final scenes of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America went back in time to clean up some loose ends related to the infinity stones. But instead of returning home, Cap opted to stay in the past and live a complete life with his former lover, Peggy Carter. He then appeared at Tony’s funeral as a much older man.

Unable to fight anymore, Cap gave his shield to Sam Wilson instead of the Winter Soldier. Sam is expected to become the new Captain America from here on out, though nothing official has been announced on that front.

What about Hawkeye?

Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) death was easily one of the most heartbreaking in Avengers: Endgame. After an extended fight with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow fell to her death on Vormir in order to obtain the Soul Stone. Although her death served a greater purpose, many fans thought Hawkeye should have been killed off instead. To make things even more complicated, the Russo brothers revealed that they wrote a version where Black Widow lived and Hawkeye plunged to his death.

In fact, the directors were determined to have Hawkeye die until they got some backlash from members of their staff. The head of visual effects, Jen Underdahl, told them directly that it was a bad move. Other female staff members expressed a similar opinion and felt like Black Widow earned a heroic moment.

It also made sense considering Black Widow’s larger story arc. The character was raised as an assassin yet found new life with the Avengers. She was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her new family, which brought her story around full circle.

Marvel pays tribute to fallen characters

Marvel is getting ready for the release of Avengers: Endgame on DVD and Blu-ray. In the official steelbook version of the release, fans will be treated to a tribute to all of the characters who died in the movie.

This includes special portraits of Iron Man and Black Widow, both of which are autographed by the actors. Iron Man was killed off after he performed a snap with the infinity stones that killed Thanos and his army. The death marked the end of the journey for Tony, whose original film started Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The back of the case features characters who passed away in the first part of the storyline, including Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Disney has not revealed when Avengers: Endgame will be available to purchase in stores, but fans can pre-order a copy at a little under $35.

In the meantime, Black Widow is expected to get her own solo movie, though an exact premiere date has not been set.