Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame will be found below.
Black Widow’s eventually going to receive her own standalone movie, and due to the events of Avengers: Endgame, it’s easy to assume that this shall be a prequel. That’s obviously the case because Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself so that Hawkeye could secure the Soul Stone and help the Avengers reverse Thanos’ snap. Not everyone was thrilled with this outcome for one of the MCU’s strongest female characters, who was already relegated to mostly being the sidekick to her male counterparts. However, Black Widow’s story was almost even more sobering, according to the Russo Brothers.
Viewers will remember that, along with Thor, Natasha struggled to cope with the aftermath of universe-wide genocide. Whereas Thor buried his sorrows in a bread bowl, she stopped touching up her roots for five years and essentially manned the Avengers headquarters while helping coordinate the cleanup of universe-wide fallout. The Endgame directors also toyed with giving her an even more demanding job, and Anthony Russo offered the details to Slate:
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.
Obviously, this would be an exhausting gig for Natasha, and one struggles to figure out exactly how they’d squeeze this into an already packed three-hour movie. Perhaps it would have gone over well, if done correctly? It certainly would have raised the stakes while she and Hawkeye threw down over whose life could most easily been sacrificed after encountering the “red floating guy” who guarded the Soul Stone. Indeed, Red Skull left the choice up to Natasha and Clint on who would die, and she insisted upon going over the cliff (with it being implied that she was thinking of his family). If Natasha would have been “in charge of orphans,” then she would have had a family too, right? This could have led to a new point of contention from fans, but honestly, I’m more peeved at never learning what went down in Budapest. We got robbed, fellow viewers.