Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) didn't get a funeral in Avengers: Endgame because audiences will see her again in her solo Black Widow movie. After the casualties of Avengers: Infinity War and the expiring contracts for actors, many fans braced for more deaths in Avengers: Endgame. As most expected, the film served as the final chapters to Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans). But, it also marked the end of Black Widow's time in the present day of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
She and Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) were tasked with retrieving the Soul Stone from Vormir, unknowing to them that this would require one of them to sacrifice their life. Black Widow ultimately was the one who met her end and sparked plenty of debate over how it was handled. The execution of the scene has been questioned by viewers, but the biggest focus has been on how Black Widow didn't get a funeral. The Avengers grieved her upon realizing what happened, but in Avengers: Endgame it pales in comparison to the death of Iron Man, as the last several minutes of the film are dedicated to his funeral and the lasting impact he's had on the MCU.
Avengers: Endgame is now available on digital as part of the home release rollout of the highest-grossing movie in history. One of the many bonus features included with the purchase of the movie is an audio commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. After Tony's funeral happens and we see Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) mourning together, Joe explained that Black Widow didn't get the same treatment because she has a solo film on the way.
Now, people have asked why Natasha didn't get the same amount of screentime post-death as Tony did. Well, Tony does not have another movie. Tony is done. Natasha has another film. The Marvel universe obviously does not have to move forward linearly anymore, but that character still has more screen time coming.
In the past, the Avengers: Endgame creative team has tried to explain the lack of Black Widow's funeral in different ways than this. Joe Russo previously suggested that it happened off-screen and could be shown in a future MCU film. If that is the case, then his current explanation that Black Widow is the reason it didn't happen could indicate the solo film could show a spy's funeral. Since Black Widow is going to flesh out Natasha's story and introduce other people she knew, like Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), maybe the movie could end with a more personal funeral than what Tony received.
No matter what explanation is given, the logic behind the decision to not include a funeral for Black Widow will continue to be debated. Iron Man is unquestionably the bigger character, so his final appearance in the MCU deserves all of the attention it received. But, Black Widow has been around since 2010 and was effectively leading what was left of the Avengers in 2023. Tony wouldn't have even been able to save the universe if Black Widow didn't do whatever it takes to get the Soul Stone in the first place. A quick scene of Nat's longtime comrades was nice, but a proper sendoff to her could've been better for Avengers: Endgame to include. That said, with Black Widow officially the next movie in the MCU, it won't be too long before we'll know if she does get her funeral or not.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021