Scarlett Johansson’s Last Scene in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ as Black Widow ‘Much Better Than What We Had,’ Writers Say

Black Widow’s last scene in Avengers: Endgame almost looked very different.

Played by actress Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow or Natasha Romanoff, fought threats alongside other major characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) such as Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark or Iron Man, and Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers or Captain America to name a few. Continue reading to learn another way Avengers: Endgame could have left Black Widow’s story (warning: spoilers ahead) and why writers of the record-breaking film decided to change the scene. 

Johansson’s first foray into the Avengers franchise came in 2010 when she had a minor role in Iron Man 2 listed in the credits as Natalie Rushman or Natasha Romanoff. It wasn’t until 2012 when The Avengers premiered that the actress became Black Widow, the MCU’s first major female character. 

Rachel Wiesz and Scarlett Johansson
Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Writers on changing Black Widow’s last scene 

In the film’s commentary, directors Anthony and Joe Russo along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discussed that scene in the film when a major twist happened in Black Widow’s storyline. 

Spoiler alert! 

They revealed the scene when Black Widow decided to sacrifice herself to gain possession of the Soul Stone — a sacrifice had to be made to get the stone — looked different early on in the writing process. Initially, Thanos, the film’s villain, sent an army, i.e. a sacrifice, to stop Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow from getting the stone.

This is what the writers changed. 

“We actually reshot this,” McFeely said in the commentary, according to Comic Book. “This is much better than what we had. It was a little more complicated. It was Thanos sending a small army to pretend to try and stop them. It was sort of awkward. It was overthinking.”

“While it lit a fire under them to do the act, it also took a little bit of the agency away, and we lost the characters,” Markus added. 

Ultimately Johansson’s character sacrificed herself even though Hawkeye tried to sacrifice himself first. 

Writers ‘did not make this decision lightly’

Black Widow’s fate angered some fans of because they were unhappy about the idea of the character sacrificing her own life because Hawkeye had a family. In Blu-ray commentary, McFeely made it clear the character died for another cause, her own family of other superheroes, according to Digital Spy

“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.”

What’s next for Black Widow? 

Just because Black Widow’s story appeared to end in Avengers: Endgame, the character’s not going anywhere. Filming has already begun on Black Widow, which is expected to hit theaters in 2020. While Johansson can’t give away too many details about the film, she’s said it will be different from other Avengers movies

“We do about seven pages of dialogue this week so maybe [“Black Widow”] is a little different than most Marvel movies,” the 34-year-old actress said at San Diego Comic-Con, according to Variety. “There’s lots of talking. I get to talk more. I could tell you that,” she added. 

Look out for more from Johansson on Black Widow’s own film in the MCU as the premiere date gets closer.