Scarlett Johansson says 'Endgame' death wasn't easy to deal with despite 'Black Widow' spinoff: 'I felt overwhelmingly sad about it'

It's almost unprecedented: a majorly popular movie character getting killed off right before getting their own long-awaited spinoff movie. It happened with Han Solo — but that was different, with a new actor taking over the role for a prequel that went back decades (Alden Ehrenreich playing the young smuggler in Solo: A Star Wars Story after Harrison Ford's iconic hero was clipped in The Force Awakens).

It happened to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame, easily the film's most shocking death (face it, we all knew either Cap or Tony would heroically perish) in the box office conquering sequel.

And according to Johansson, whose own prequel Black Widow opens Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next May, having her own standalone film in the pipeline did not make the experience of filming her Hero's Death — in which Natasha and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must choose who sacrifices themselves to save the Soul Stone — any easier.

"I thought it would make it easier, and then when I was standing there with Renner on the edge of the cliff, it wasn't easy at all," Johannson told Yahoo Entertainment on a press line at San Diego Comic-Con shortly after Marvel's blockbuster panel Saturday.

"It was really, really sad. I just felt overwhelmingly sad about it. It just felt like a big loss. So no, it didn't make it any easier… I'm pretty sentimental, so I'd go, 'Guys, this is it!' And they're like, 'You're getting your own film, it's fine.' But I was like, 'It's not the same.'"

It wasn't easy for ScarJo to watch, either. "It's brutal. It's brutal and sad, and it's bittersweet."

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 20: (L-R) David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O. T. Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson speak at the Marvel Studios Panel during 2019 Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson speak at the Marvel Studios Panel during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Excitement remains high, though for Natasha's first solo foray, which has been discussed for what feels like a decade now — which is funny, given Johansson admitted on Marvel's panel that she doesn't think she could've made Black Widow 10 years ago.

"I think the strength in Black Widow is actually her vulnerability, which is unexpected" she said. “But I kind of made my own discovery [of that] as these years have gone on and the movies have progressed. And I think that’s actually what will make this film so compelling, is you get to see what Natasha is afraid of, and what parts of herself she’s afraid of, and what haunts her. I didn’t have that information 10 years ago.

In Black Widow, Johansson will be joined by an exciting cast that includes David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy), Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family, Midsommar) and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale).

To find out who they play, watch our video interviews below:

Black Widow opens May 1, 2020.

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