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Thanks to the extended delay at the movie theaters, Marvel audiences have had more time to sit with the loss of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), the MCU’s Black Widow, who sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame so that Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) would be able to attain the Soul Stone. By now, we were to have reunited with Widow already in the prequel adventure named after her character. But as the new release date approaches, Johansson is opening up about that death, and the parts that she liked about it.
I love Natasha. She’s had an incredible 10-year journey, and I felt that she was finally able to make an active choice. It seemed very in-character, that ultimate sacrifice that she makes. She’s made peace with that, and, in some ways, has known that’s her destiny all along, in a weird poetic way. When you look back on the films, that’s in there. All the films have led her to that choice – or to be able to make that choice; or for it to be a choice.
There definitely were a number of ways that Black Widow could have been killed off in Avengers: Endgame. But it’s noteworthy that the two main Avengers who lost their lives in the battle to take down Thanos (Josh Brolin) did it willingly – Tony Stark being the other. Having a hero die in battle without turning it into an act of heroism sends a different message, and its inspiring that Scarlett Johansson sees Nat’s plunge as the natural progression of her journey, a destiny she willingly embraces.
That doesn’t mean that filming the scene that day was made easier. We had the chance to speak with Scarlett Johansson at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, when she thought Black Widow was coming to theaters in May. And I asked her if it was easier filming the Endgame death scene knowing that she’d be returning for a prequel film. Her answer was pretty surprising.
And now, we wait to see if Black Widow actually plays in a movie theater in November. Following the release of Tenet, move studios have become less bullish on pushing their films into multiplexes, and almost everything around Black Widow has bailed. Wonder Woman 1984 shifted back to December 25, though the latest rumors on Black Widow have suggested a Disney+ run around the holidays.
Personally, that move makes the most sense to me. Yes, it’s terrible that movie theaters are closed. But if Mulan did as well as is being rumored, then Marvel Studios and Disney can earn some money back on Black Widow. And the MCU, as a whole, needs to stay on track, because every time a new MCU feature pushes back, it affects the Disney+ television programs, as well as the films that are in the pipeline behind Black Widow. Stay tuned for updates as we receive them.