Black Widow was supposedly going to be in charge of an orphan shelter in Washington D.C. in Avengers: Endgame, directors Joe and Anthony Russo reveal. The second original Avenger introduced in the MCU, Natasha Romanoff made her debut in 2010's Iron Man 2 as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. But when the organization collapsed during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nat devoted her time fully as a member of the franchise's premier team of heroes - playing a mentor figure to the new crop of Avengers coming in. But Captain America: Civil War and her eventual fence-jumping made her a vigilante leading into a two-year underground operation with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson/Falcon before Thanos' onslaught.
By the time Endgame rolled out following their colossal loss to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Nat was among the ones who was most deeply affected by The Decimation. Things turned for the worst when they had to sit on their failure for five long years until the idea of Time Heist came thanks to Scott Lang/Ant-Man. During that time, everyone had gone on with their own lives, while she opted to stay back and be the point person in the Avengers facility, hoping that somehow there's still a way to undo the destruction that the Mad Titan caused. But apparently, this wasn't the original role written for Nat, as she could've also ventured in a different way to cope with the tragedy.
Speaking with Slate about Endgame, the Russo Brothers revealed that they had a different arc for Widow in the film wherein she'd be at Washington D.C. helping a center for orphaned kids from the snap. The idea was ultimately scrapped as it's deemed too complex to interweave in the ongoing story. Joe and Anthony, however, didn't say if this would've led to a different fate for Widow.
Anthony Russo: One thing that we talked about a lot—and I thought was really profound, but it was almost too large of an idea for us to wrangle, but we did try for a while—is just the idea that one-quarter of all children have no parents. Assuming you started with two parents. So that’s a lot of global orphans. Just the staggering number of that. I believe at one point really early in development, Black Widow was actually leading the organization in D.C. that was in charge of orphans, basically. That was what she was heading up five years later. But yes, it’s fascinating when you start running it down.
Endgame made it a point to highlight just how big of an emotional toll The Decimation took on Nat. She was distraught when they realized that there's no way they can restore the status quo in the universe. Her conversation with Steve in the Avengers HQ with her recalling how the Avengers was the closest she's had in terms of having a family was depressing. By the time hope blossomed, she was also the one to be the most enthusiastic - gleefully telling her comrades "see you in five minutes" before jumping into the Quantum Realm, little did she know that she wouldn't be able to come back as she sacrificed her life for the Soul Stone.
It would've been cool to see this side of Widow, especially considering the idea that she was sterilized - a significant detail that was at the heart of her tragic relationship with Bruce Banner. Like Steve spearheading support group meetings, Avengers: Endgame could've seen her manning the orphan organization and come back at the HQ to hold the fort down. Her ties with the orphans could've also played a role in her upcoming standalone film directed by Cate Shortland that is believed to take place in the past.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019