Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had to make some pretty rough decisions. It's no secret that the movie has a pretty emotional tone, especially since viewers are crying their eyes out in theaters and in one extreme case, getting sent to the emergency room for uncontrollable sobbing. But why did the Russo Brothers, along with McFeely and Markus have to do this to all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans? There are MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame below, so read ahead at your own risk.
There are a few major deaths in Avengers: Endgame and one of them took nearly everyone by surprise. Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff unfortunately did not make it out of the movie alive, but she made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure half of the universe was saved. She sacrificed herself on Vormir to unlock the Soul Stone in one of the most shocking scenes in the movie and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are now explaining why her death was final. Markus explains.
"The biggest question about it is what Thor raises there on the dock. 'We have the Infinity Stones. Why don't we just bring her back?'"
Many MCU fans were wondering the same thing - "Why can't she be brought back?" They have all of the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Endgame, so what's to stop them from going back and reversing Black Widow's death? Stephen McFeely says, "But that's the everlasting exchange. You bring her back, you lose the stone." This makes sense on some levels, but what does it mean for Gamora and Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Also, if Captain America put the stone back, doesn't that mean he got at least one of the soul's back? Maybe he saved Black Widow? We'll just have to wait and see.
Natasha Romanoff was one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes who seemed to be the most concerned with bringing her family back together. Her death comes rather early on in the movie and it was effective, but Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely still had trouble putting it all together. When all is said and done, they believe they made the right choice. McFeely had this to say.
"Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that's a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren't going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven't solved the problem. But we lost a big character - a female character - how do we honor it? We have this male lens and it's a lot of guys being sad that a woman died."
Natasha Romanoff is definitely mourned in Avengers: Endgame, but did the Russo Brothers and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely give the character enough of a tribute? That was also something the screenwriting duo had to think about, which does not sound like an easy decision. With that being said, they did a good job and their reasoning behind their motivation makes sense. Stephen McFeely explains.
"Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn't. That's partly because Tony's this massive public figure and she's been a cipher the whole time. It wasn't necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral."
Scarlett Johansson will be back as Natasha Romanoff in the upcoming Black Widow standalone movie, which will be a prequel. The events of Avengers: Endgame will help to make her story arc all the more meaningful when her standalone movie hits theaters. She sacrificed everything for the only family she ever knew. The interview with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely was originally conducted by The New York Times.