SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Oof. Avengers: Endgame almost got even darker and deeper into the mythology of what happens when you snap out 50% of all life.
The Decimation hit all of the Avengers hard, and they each handled it differently. Black Widow didn’t run away or start a family. She got to work. We saw her running point for the surviving Avengers at the compound. She also kept up training. She was quick to speak up and say they needed to try whatever they could to reverse Thanos’ Snap, for the people who weren’t there with them. She said she never had a family until she was part of the Avengers.
Speaking of family, that’s where directors Joe and Anthony Russo almost got extra bleak. Anthony Russo said they did spend a lot of time thinking about the realities and logistics of what would happen if 50% of all living creatures simply vanished. Black Widow almost got a new job in the time jump trying to care for the kids who were left behind:
Wow. Yeah, I think it was the right call to skip that storyline. Endgame was dark enough without bringing the reality of millions of orphans into it. That’s a completely different movie. Actually, maybe it’s HBO’s The Leftovers.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Natasha revealed to Bruce that she couldn’t have her own children, since she was sterilized as part of her spy initiation. The scene caused some controversy, but it would’ve been an interesting tie-in to see Natasha caring for so many children years later. In a way, it could’ve been like she’d adopted the Thanos orphans.
It is fascinating when you start running it all down, as Anthony Russo told Slate. Avengers: Endgame did show the day-to-day changes that happened after The Decimation — like Steve Rogers’ support group, and the trashed and abandoned streets poor confused Scott Lang walked. But they didn’t go too deep into how the rest of the world was affected because it was already a three-hour movie and they had to get busy reversing Thanos’ call.
The Russo Brothers may have changed Black Widow’s post-Snap job, but they kept her sacrifice intact. They recently explained why they had her sacrifice herself for the Soul Stone.