One of the great things about the Avengers: Endgame plot is that it forces the audience to deal with all the adverse effects that come with surviving the snap that wiped up half of life in the universe at the end of Infinity War. There’s no magical recipe that can help the Avengers undo what Thanos did without heartbreaking repercussions, and the story doesn’t necessarily have a guaranteed happy ending. The fact that you have to accept actual loss, whether it’s the heroes who sacrificed their lives to beat Thanos or the realization that the universe went through a rather dark five years, is what makes everything so satisfying.
But not all Endgame fans were happy to see some of their favorite characters die, especially Iron Man and Black Widow. Original Gamora, Loki, Vision, and Heimdall can also be added to the list, although it’s Tony and Nat we’ll miss the most. While some people have been hoping that Marvel will somehow bring them back down the road, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen — and now we have a pretty convincing statement from one of the characters who died to support that notion.
Since Endgame premiered, I’ve seen all sorts of fan theories about how Iron Man, Black Widow, or even Captain America might return to the series. Tony might live on as an AI entity since he’d be perfectly capable of backing up his brain to some sort of cloud. Black Widow’s soul might be returned once Cap delivers the Soul Stone (Marvel has made it clear that can’t happen, though). And good old Steve, who’s not dead yet, might be rejuvenated by, you know, pushing time through Steve just like Professor Hulk did with Ant-Man when they were first testing the Time Heist machine.
This brings us to Scarlett Johansson’s appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon from earlier this week, where she made it abundantly clear that Black Widow’s death is as final as it gets:
But people will not — they just don’t want — they won’t — they definitely don’t believe it, and — and have tried to convince me that my character did not actually die. That may be, my character existed in an alternate universe. But no, I think death is a pretty certain thing.
Johansson will play Black Widow again in her standalone movie, which launches on May 1st next year. But that’s a prequel, so the action takes place well before Endgame. Even if Johansson ends up appearing in other Marvel films down the road, they should still be the kind of MCU adventures that happened in the past — or in a different reality. I’ll also remind you that the actress said in a different interview that Black Widow will bring us closure, something she repeated on Fallon.
While I personally think it’d be a bad idea to suddenly revive the heroes who sacrificed their lives for this particular mission, Marvel may always change its mind down the road. And if that ends up being the case, then it’s not like any of the actors whose characters just died will just confirm they will be resurrected. Check out Johansson’s segment on Fallon below: