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One of the more controversial elements of Avengers: Endgame was the nature of Natasha Romanoff’s death. Both the fact that she died in the first place, but also that she never got a big funeral commemorating her heroic sacrifice like Iron Man did. The movie’s directors and writers have previously defended the storytelling decision and we’ve now discovered another reason why there was no funeral: Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson, vetoed the idea.
Black Widow director Cate Shortland opened up about the upcoming MCU prequel movie to Empire and in the interview, Shortland teased that her film will provide some closure to Nat’s death. As for why Endgame didn’t feature much in the way of closure, she said Johansson didn’t think a wake for the heroine would be in keeping with her personality or wishes.
“In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” Shortland said. “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”
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That’s a good point from Johansson, via Shortland, and it shows that the star understands her character well. As a former assassin, Natasha isn’t one to get sentimental about death. Unlike Tony Stark, who probably would’ve enjoyed the whole MCU gathering to honor him, she wouldn’t have wanted to make a big deal of her own passing. Still, a funeral for Nat did very nearly make it in to Endgame.
As for BW, Shortland’s hint that her film will end with the characters grieving sounds pretty ominous. Does she mean over Natasha’s fate, or will someone else bite the bullet? We’ll have to wait and see, but if it’s the latter, it probably won’t be Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, as the director told Empire that Natasha will pass on her mantle to her sister in Black Widow.