Warning: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt are the tag team editing duo behind Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, the two dished about editing the final installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Saga. Of course, there are stories about intense deadlines and the epic production behind the two films. However, the bulk of the article is about how Endgame changed in postproduction with some scenes outright scrapped, rewritten, and reshot. In fact, Black Widow’s death scene was originally much different.
Black Widow v. Thanos
In Endgame the Avengers trek through time and space to track down the Infinity Stones. Black Widow and Hawkeye are dispatched to Vormir in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. Unfortunately, both heroes are completely unaware that in order to get the Stone one of them has to die. In the end, Black Widow makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Turns out the original version of that scene had Hawkeye and Widow fighting Thanos.
“On script and what we first shot was an excellent scene. Thanos and his soldiers show up on Vormir and a small battle ensues between them and Natasha and Clint. Natasha decides to run off the cliff. Clint tries to stop her while also fending off the attack.”
Test audiences liked the original scene. Yet, it was ultimately abandoned in favor of something a little more emotional.
“It was reshot to make it more intimate between Clint and Natasha, which fully worked in the end version of the movie. We just came up with a better idea, something that serviced Natasha a little bit more.”
The death of Black Widow was one of Endgame‘s more controversial story choices. Many criticized the choice and felt that it was not a death worthy of a founding member of the Avengers. I’m not sure if this original version of scene will do much to contest those critiques.
I’ll guess we’ll see what the masses say when Marvel releases the deleted scenes in their entirety.