‘Avengers: Endgame’ Writers Defend Black Widow Storyline | MTV News

– I’m joined of course
by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely. These are the guys that
traumatized many people by killing your favorite characters. So, welcome guys. – You’re welcome!
– Really a group effort. – Anybody else you want killed? Let me know.
– Gonna be this guys. – On the eve of ‘Endgame’, some big bold choices in that one. Was there one that you were most curious, like, would the fans go for it, would it work, what felt like the riskiest
choice in ‘Endgame’ – I think killing Natasha was the thing I worried about the most. I thought it was, and still think it’s really important. I think it’s the appropriate story point. It’s the end of her journey. It is the most heroic thing, getting the Avengers back, getting the world back, she had so much red in her ledger, coming so far and to make
this heroic sacrifice. But, you are killing the
first female character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You could argue that there
are more stories to be told. Sounds like we’re getting one.
– Right. – But, we collectively said this is the right choice for us, and we will live with the consequences. – How far down the road did you get? ‘Cause I know you talked about you had a version where Hawkeye… – We explore everything, so at one point we asked “Hey, what if we did this?” – The math on the cliff would work. We needed two people who loved each other, one of them had to go over, so we had to try both. – And so, I guess my question is did you extrapolate from there? How would have that played
out the rest of the movie, did you go far down the road? – I don’t think we did, I think it was in outline phase, maybe. – Yeah. Basically it came down to is this a tragic beat or is this… With Natasha it’s heroic. – Right. – With Clint it would be heroic, but it’s mainly like, “Oh, that’s so sad, he didn’t get with his family.” With Natasha it’s like sort
of strangely an up beat, in that it is the fulfillment of her absolute heroism. – It’s not unlike Tony’s beat obviously. They both die for the mission. Hers comes at the end of act two as opposed to the end, so there are complications there, right? Because the movie is not over.
– Yes. – The mission is not over, and yet, given the rules of Vormir, written by us, right?
(Josh laughs) We got to do somebody here sometime, and yeah, more importantly it was we knew we were going to
escort people off the stage, and so her being a hero in this very private, but important way seemed appropriate. – Presumably it’s not
officially announced, we presumably judging by pictures of them actually making the movie, have a ‘Black Widow’ movie– (laughs) but I guess my question is, did you have to thread in any story points or references into this film about potentially future ‘Black Widow’? – Marvel is very good
about not stressing about what’s coming next.
– Right. – And about not sharing with us. – Well, about not sharing, but also they’re not, you know… If you wanna kill somebody or, you know, really dirty them up
or something like that, they’re not gonna go,
– Right. – “You got another one.” They’ll find a way. They’re not gonna change
their plans necessary because of it, but they’re not gonna blunt
the movie they’re working on for the sake of the
next one down the line. – Best story wins, yeah. – In your head, do you know what happened in Budapest? – Oh! – A lot of things happened past that day. – No, there’s not a
definitive one that we have. – (laughs) Just curious. I feel like the next ‘Black Widow’ movie should be called ‘Black Widow,
What Happened in Budapest’. – Yes, finally, people.
(laughing) – You obviously had a lot of real estate between these two films–
– Yeah. – in terms of just like the amount of time that Disney was willing to
go down the road with you. That being said, you have 30 minutes more of script running time in ‘Endgame’ is there something you didn’t, that you wanted to kind of would have liked to have explored more? You did an amazing
service to this ensemble is there a character, or group that you feel like– – In ‘Endgame’.
– you were wanting to go down? – I don’t think anybody got short shrift, to tell you the truth. There were certainly endless other scenes and sequences that we wrote. A lot of them got cut because we realized we were starting the story too early. We were visiting people before
the story had gotten to them. We were just sort of like, “What were they up to before
the movie got around to ’em?” – Particularly in ‘Infinity War’, we did that a lot.
– Yeah, there was a ton of it. So while I like those scenes, I don’t miss’em.
– Yeah. – And that’s the challenge
of long form storytelling verses a successful two-hour, in this case three-hour movie that’s meant to stand on its own. Right? Like I would love to tell you what Steve and Natasha, and Sam were doing after ‘Civil War’, but before ‘End’, bro,
– Yeah. – But, you know, its got
to be on stones, man. – Well, and the interesting
thing also for you guys now, is like you don’t have
a another Marvel thing on the docket right now.
– Yeah. – Who knows where the
future will take you. And so you can speak to it as fans now in terms of where it goes, and what you’d be interested in seeing. Like I’m curious like, we know like Shang-Chi and Eternals and Black Panther too, there are bunch of things that are in the pipeline potentially. As fans though, what are you excited to see? – I’m excited about all those ones you just mentioned. Particularly because I really don’t know those properties very well.
– Yeah. – So it really does put me
much more in the fan position. – Yeah, ‘Eternals’ feels
like ‘Guardians’ in a way. – Yeah. It’s exciting.
– Exciting for me, man. – I’m intrigued by what they’ll do with the things they’re
getting back from Fox. – Yeah. – I probably, you know, I’d go slow– – So what’s your advice? How do you weave in
‘X-Men’, ‘Fantastic 4’. – I’d go slow, and also, if you wanted to you could conceivably
take the ‘Avengers’ model. Again, this is pure speculation. – This is three nerds just talking. It’s all good. (laughs) – You could make solo movies, and then bring them
together as the ‘X-Men’. You don’t necessarily have to follow, ’cause–
– Pull back a curtain, and they’re there. – Yeah, we have had so
many models of the school, – Yes.
– Right. – the Xavier School. And while that is canon in the comics, maybe there’s another
way to think about it. So that you don’t wanna make
them just like the ‘Avengers’, but you also don’t wanna make them just like the movies that are running. – That’s the only thing I will guarantee is that Kevin is not gonna do it like you’ve seen it though already. – And then presumably, I’m gonna presumably see Kevin before this weekend is out. I’ll probably ask him the same thing. Like if a space war begins, presumably he’s already has in mind like what the next culmination, what the next major event is. – The next ‘Endgame’ is? – Well just knowing that like
you guys planted the seeds as early as you did for this one, is it ‘Secret Wars’, is it… Again, from a fan perspective, what do you think should be the next, major event that culminates a phase? – I honestly don’t know. Having just come off a big culmination, it’s not what I want to think about. (laughing) – That’s the last thing. (laughs) – My mind wants to get back to some individual superhero stories. – Yeah, right. I wanna see what Cooglar does – Rebuild.
– next time out. – One of the things that makes
Marvel work the way it works is there are mile markers
flung in the distance that they don’t
necessarily need to get to. They’re not, “Everything must march
in lock step over there because we need to have
the Beyonder show up,” or something like that.
– Right. – It’s loose. – And they have the
luxury of 20 characters you’re in love with that they can go down, along if they want. – That’s the thing. If they want to super conservative, why don’t you make simply
‘Doctor Strange 2’, ‘Black Panther 2’. Like they’ve got money in the bank. – Yeah. They got a
choice of what they want. – They’re using the capital. – You guys are so closely associated with the Cap storyline obviously, and we’re gonna see
‘Falcon & Winter Soldier’, for Disney Plus. I’m curious like, for you is it settled in your mind, as Sam’s Captain America? It’s curious they’ve called
it ‘Falcon & Winter Soldier’. – Oh, yeah.
– It’s not ‘Captain America’. – Yeah, I don’t know if– – As far as from your perspective. – In my perspective it is, settled in my mind that
he’s Captain America. That said, I don’t know if
one just picks up the shield, and is Captain America.
– Right. – It takes work on a person’s part to figure out who Captain
America is to them. Who they are as Captain America. Sam has been the Falcon.
– Yes. – He’s been a soldier, then he’s been Falcon. Is Sam as Captain America just Falcon with a shield on his arm? – Right. – What is the process that
he needs to go through to embody that?
– Right. What does it mean for him
specifically to embody a symbol of America at this time? – I can also imagine the
weight of that moment, when we see him in that costume for many reasons.
– Oh, yeah. – It’s gonna be a very powerful thing the culmination of that show or the next ‘Avengers’ or whatever it is. Do you think next ‘Avengers’ we see has a another word associated with it, like Young Avengers? – Oh!
– I don’t know. – Zombie Avengers, right? – Baby Avengers, right? (laughing) – Turns them into ‘Muppet Babies’? – Right.
– I’m in. (laughs) – I honestly don’t know. – He’s gonna zag. – It could go anywhere. – Who’s the hardest Avenger to write for? Who is your toughest, that you always have to like… – Natasha was tough
because she doesn’t like to emote all that much.
– Right. – Steve doesn’t either, but we’d taken him longer and we just had him more. – We know the history
that is weighing on Steve, – Ah, good point. – Natasha it’s all murky.
– Right. – Which is the attraction
of the character, but it’s also it’s harder
to pull things out, and make it seem fresh. – We tried, “Here’s a story, I’m gonna tell you from my past.” Right, it did not work.
– Right. – I didn’t want to know it, (laughs) and I didn’t want her to tell it to me, but we certainly tried it. – It felt like (mumbles) character. – It wasn’t in her nature at all. Yeah, so that was tough. – The Russo’s have eluded
to like one other Cap story they wanna tell one day, do you know what they’re talking about? – I might,
– I might. – There are great Cap
stories left on the tape, no doubt. Hell, if you had all the
time and money in the world, there’s a big montage in World War II in the first movie
that’s got stories in it. – Yeah. – You could bring back
all the Howling Commandos and just go to town.
– Right. – The thing about the trilogy and these two movies is we’ve always been
able to push Cap forward, and evolve his character. It would be fun, but I don’t know that it would
have the character weight that I’d like it to have. – Did you ever go down on
that road at all in talking, in terms of the two of you, and going to Marvel for like
something set in that period? – Oh, we’ve pitched them
‘Camp Lehigh’ series. (laughing) Wouldn’t it be great? – We’ve had a couple–
– 1970s. – of times in ‘Winter
Soldier’ and in ‘Civil War’. You tried to build a trope of flashing back to a World War II story that is coinciding with
the contemporary story. And I still love that structure. – Right. – It just kept being unnecessary. – Right, an embarrassment of riches. – It was an embarrassment of riches, and there was nothing being
conveyed in the past section that you didn’t understand
from the present. – You could tell when you cut it. If you cut it and it didn’t distract from the story, then that’s telling you can say. (laughs) – But it was always cool to put… Particularly when you have a character who is in both time periods,
– Yeah. – So you have Steve–
– You have license to do it. – If you have Steve Rogers
standing in a field in Germany that’s totally peaceful, and then you flashback to that same guy standing in field just covered
with blood and bullets, – Yeah.
– That’s amazing. – Yes. – There’s something to do there, I just don’t know what it is. – Your unique vantage point, I feel like as fanboys, and people that have culminated a, at least a part of a franchise, a part of a series, for ‘Star Wars’, I’m just curious episode nine– – You’re asking our
opinion on ‘Star Wars’? – ‘Episode IX’, they have
to end a 40 plus years saga, nine films, what do you think they have to answer, how would you even approach? – This is the one, I’ve lost track of the numbers, nine is the one that’s actually,
they’ve already shot it. – Nine is JJ’s second one. Yes, it’s coming– – It’s coming this Christmas. – Yeah. Well, I mean. – Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s so difficult.
(laughing) They have such the weight of my childhood. – You have a pretty tough task. – Yeah, but it’s all invented right now in front of our eyes in the last 10 years, right?
– Yeah. It’s not going back to
little Steve McFeely when he was six, you know. (laughs) – (laughs) He’s a dad, what? – It’s so fraught. (laughing) Yeah, they certainly don’t
need any advice from us, but I’m trying to go in there. – It’s an equally fascinating universe, they’ve got there. – Yes, a challenge (mumbles). – In general, I’d like
to see it move forward and not backwards, you know, like.
– Yes. – I would prefer not another Death Star. – (laughs) We’ve seen
a few of those, right? (laughing)

35 thoughts on “‘Avengers: Endgame’ Writers Defend Black Widow Storyline | MTV News

  1. These are the same twats who called her a cipher. Ciphers don't get standalone movies that open the next phase of the MCU, and have hats featuring her passed around to everyone at Hall H. These two definitely look like clowns, especially whenever they try to explain Steve's ending.

  2. I love these two guys. They will have forever influenced my childhood & entry to adulthood. I could listen to them discuss story structure & character development & progression all day. Just a Master Class or Tedd Talk of script writing! Thanks Josh & MTV for this.

  3. All I want to know is why they couldn't just send Lebowski Thor and his beer keg to Vormir instead of Hawkeye and Natasha

  4. First, they said Nat is a cipher. Second, she has no life. Third Barton has a family. Fourth she has no family. Fifth kill her for shock value. Six Nat needs to redeem herself which she already did in 10 years. 7th no more question, please. None of these are good answers. It was just bad. They could not even give Nat a funeral or memorial for two minutes but have time to give Hulk dab. Yet people tell me they wrote billion-dollar movies. The movie is good and deserves a high rating. But they made some bad choices in the movie.

  5. The death of Natasha took me right out of the movie. So much so, when the scene of all the Marvel woman came up later in the movie all I could of is – Black Widow was missing. I'm still bitter about her death. I though Natasha, and Scarlett, deserved better.

  6. These fellas made some really bad choices. Making Bucky the centre of civil war.. Ruining the tension of superhero accountability. Killing Black Widow because her death was not "consequential" and dismissing her with a 2 minute mourning scene..

    These guys write for shock value. That's the problem. There's no narrative or thematic buildup for the characters.

  7. How much do you want to bet when Black Widow comes out even though Avengers Endgame is the biggest film of all time,people will still ask how Black Widow is still alive.

  8. I don't understand why avenger need to end like this.. I mean avenger still in top tho, so making other avenger movies can
    still make money.. So no need to kill any character.. Iron man, black widow and captain america is solid great character.. As long as actor/actress are not ageing, they can continue to make one.. 😂

  9. natasha deserved better, even though i really liked her sacrifice and the reason behind it, but her character has just been really horribly handled throughout the years, i just felt like she was just getting proper treatment and they just killed her… i get why but at the same time is like they completely forget about her after it, no funeral, no nothing, she was so damn important and also AN ORIGINAL AVENGER and they did not give her a proper send off, it is really upsetting, 10 years and she still gets horrible treatment, the only good news is that she is getting a solo movie, but still HER DEATH IS IMPORTANT . and also to the people that say nat was a spy r whatever that a funeral would not make sense… she was a freaking avenger everyone knew who she was, and tonys funeral was on his backyard not a huge public thing, so fucking ridiculous to not give her a proper send-off with the whole cast. aghhhhhhh this so frustrating, its like saying to the audience her sacrifice wasn't as important and thats why we only briefly mention her death, while tony is literally all people talk about both in endgame and in spiderman far from home, likeee cant the avengers tell people what she did for them to also make paintings of her in the streets, so like we realize as an audience the importance of HER SACRIFICE!, ik clearly super mad at this i just hope the stand alone movie does a good job

  10. Just want to say i hate these two guys because their dont know how to handle blackwidow character with a good way. Their inssist that blackwidow die and cannot be undone but somehow their will bring back loki and gamora alive. Fuck both you two and russo brothers!!

  11. The emotional storytelling these guys brought to the Avengers is fantastic. Particularly Cap’s arc from TFA to Endgame. And to tie it all in with Agent Carter too (which they created) is brilliant.

  12. Bullshit excuse. Also, with different timelines and the multiverse there is no reason not to bring her back.

  13. how is natasha dying an upbeat lmao i was so distraught and heartbroken that i couldn't process most of the rest of the movie up until the final battle, i just felt so painfully sad

  14. Brilliant interview! You made this seem fresh and new. I was beginning to think these two guys were going to be answering the same Endgame questions for eternity.

  15. theses guys are great story tellers, you can tell that everything is well thought out before they decide to write a movie. I bet they go through a analytical and methodical process when they write.

  16. They really wrote themselves in a corner with the whole 'soul for a soul' thing. Somebody had to die and like they said Black widow was the least consequential death. The thing is though her self sacrifice has nothing to do with her character arc.

    Nat feels she'll never be more than the killer assassin they made her. She'll never be able to have a relationship or a family like Clint. Never be anything more than a Black Widow. The perfect ending for her would be to overcome her past, to find love, to find happiness, to belong to a family (the avengers) and to become a fully realized woman but all that was sacrificed for the sake of a plot that the writers came up with themselves. I feel bad for Scarlett because I can't imagine how she felt finding out how her character's story ends.

  17. Personally, I would like to NOT know what happened in Budapest because then it could be anything. Like what if the black widow movie just ends with her (and Clint) getting the assignment to go there and then end credits

    Sigh, I bet people would be mad

  18. There was another Captain America created in the '50's who could be the subject of new films. The two Caps actually met early in the Marvel comics series. They could introduce him, using a different actor who resembles Chris Evans, or they could make the character be Steve and Peggy's son or grandson who inherited the Super Soldier metabolism.

  19. Trash by trash for trash pukes push agenda with propaganda worthless trash unable come up with own ideas so must take others ideas and turn them into same kind trash they themself are turn alpha stong good looking people into sissy fat trash beta turn bad ass into lazy slob to better validate their pathetic behavior and ways think .

  20. See this was the biggest unforgivable plot hole in endgame. You setup the rules for the soulstone in infinity war and then proceed to break them 😂

    In infinity the red skull told Thanos he has to sacrifice someone he loves for the stone. That’s why Gamora’s death was so emotional and also made us feel bad for Thanos. This was the most important action in infinity war and was very important for these two characters.

    And then in endgame you guys proceed to not only break that rule but also minimize the death of Gamora and Thanos’ all important to sacrifice someone he loves for the stone. What did you do? You had black widow commit suicide???? You just broke your own rule! And not only that you made Thanos’ sacrifice a total joke. He had to make a soul crushing sacrifice what did Hawkeye sacrifice? Oh yea nothing, Natasha suicided herself.

    Lamest plot hole that proceeds to make the all important sacrifice in infinity war a total joke and also endgame a plot hole filled movie that doesn’t make any sense.

    Good job guys you make dumb and dumber from GOT look like geniuses 😂😂😂

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