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The Big Secret Black Widow's Writers Kept From The Hawkeye Crew

The Disney+ series "Hawkeye" gave fans a satisfying conclusion to the story of Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) — should it be the end for him — while setting up a new Hawkeye for the future. Set a year after "Avengers: Endgame," the series follows Barton as he tries to tie up the loose ends left behind by his time as the Ronin, working with his new partner (and pseudo protege) Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

Barton is also forced to confront the loss of his longtime friend Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), as her sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) returns to the series to try and take revenge on Barton — who she believes is responsible for Natasha's death. In the end, Yelena accepts that Barton loved her sister just as much as she did, and the two bond over their shared grief.

The story of "Hawkeye" would not be the same without Yelena, which is why it may surprise some fans to learn that her role in the series was actually kept secret from the Hawkeye team for an incredibly long time.

The Hawkeye team didn't know about Black Widow's post-credits scene

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Igla, the head writer for "Hawkeye," revealed that he was the only one who knew about the post-credits scene of "Black Widow," and was told he had to keep it a secret from the rest of the writing staff. The scene in question is a direct lead-in to "Hawkeye," wherein Yelena stands beside her sister's grave and is tasked by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) to hunt down and kill Clint Barton.

"There was a length of time where I wasn't supposed to share it with the rest of the writing staff," Igla admitted. "If somebody tells me not to share something, even if I think, 'Well, the writing staff really needs to know this,' then I'm just going to trust their process ... I kept it under my hat for a while."

Igla clarified that the staff already knew that he had been lobbying for Yelena's inclusion in the series, and as such, they had already been pitching stories for her before that scene was ever created. But they probably didn't imagine that she would be an enemy to Barton, or that Valentina was the one to send her on her mission to kill him. It's interesting to consider all the possibilities that were pitched for Yelena prior to the team learning about that scene, especially since it means her entrance to the series could have been completely different.