Black Widow Had the ‘Most Heroic Moment’ in MCU ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Says

Black Widow or Natasha Romanoff played by Scarlett Johansson is among the many superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but according to Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo — who co-directed the record-breaking film with his brother, Anthony Russo — Johansson’s character had “the most heroic moment” ever in the MCU when she made a life-changing decision in the film.

Warning: Major Avengers: Endgame spoiler alerts ahead. 

Every Avengers movie released by Marvel Studios since the 2008 premiere of Iron Man culminated in the release of Avengers: Endgame and a massive battle between the superheroes and Thanos (Josh Brolin). 

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson. | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Since Avengers: Endgame became available on DVD and Blu-Ray, fans have learned even more about the making of the film, everything from Captain Marvel’s fake hair to how the directors and writers felt about what played out onscreen. 

In the commentary, the Russo brothers along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, discussed the ins and outs of the film with Joe Russo at one point, making a bold statement about Black Widow. 

Spoiler alert! Those who haven’t watched Avengers: Endgame look away now.

Johansson’s character made the decision to fall from a Vormir cliff so Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) could take the Soul Stone. Obtaining the stone required sacrifice and Blackwidow gallantly offered herself up to save everyone else. 

This move outraged fans but in the commentary, Joe Russo said Black Widow’s self-sacrifice proved to be the most heroic moment in the entire Avengers movie franchise. 

“At the beginning of Endgame, she wants to bring it all back because she feels like it is the strongest emotional connection that she’s ever had in her life. She’s presented with a choice, which is to give her own life to bring everyone else back and she does it Which [is] the single most heroic moment in the history of the Marvel Universe,” Joe Russo said. 

Black Widow ‘fighting to save her family’

The decision by the writers to have Black Widow sacrifice herself upset fans and in the commentary, they defended their reasons for doing so. They also said the Black Widow’s final scene initially looked very different from the final cut. 

In the commentary, McFeely explained why Black Widow’s motivation behind her decision. 

“We should probably talk about how this is the first major female character of the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe,” McFeely said.

He continued saying, “We did not make this decision lightly. She’s not fighting to save Clint’s family. I’ve seen some people say that he has a family, and therefore … That’s not it at all. She’s fighting to save her family,” he added. 

‘Black Widow’ prequel next for Scarlett Johannson

Johannson’s character had 33 minutes of screen time in the movie, far less than say, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) or Captain America (Chris Evans), but she made a huge impact.

And just because Black Widow sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame doesn’t mean Johansson’s time playing a Marvel superhero has ended.

The 34-year-old actress has already begun filming a prequel about her character — Johansson has said it will be “different” than previous movies — due out in 2020 as part of Marvel Studios’ fourth phase of MCU films.