“Avengers: Infinity War” ended with a lot of deaths, but some assume that their favorite characters will return to the big screen alive because there are franchises to continue. The directors maintain that the most successful movie series can live on without their leads.

[Spoiler Alert: Do not read unless you’ve seen the ending of “Avengers: Infinity War.”]

The final moments of “Avengers: Infinity War” are filled with death. Thanos (Josh Brolin) succeeds in destroying half of humanity, and that means many of our heroes are dead and gone. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Groot (Vin Diesel) are just a few of the many disintegrations seen.

Avengers Infinity War deaths
Many assume that Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) will be revived in “Avengers 4,” but the franchise could live on without him. Marvel Studios

However, it’s the deaths of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in particular that make fans feel like this isn’t permanent. After all, they have sequels to make, and Sony and Disney are not giving up on their successful new franchises after one movie each. On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, directors Joe and Anthony Russo hinted that the existence of these franchises doesn’t necessarily mean that Peter Parker and T’Challa are saved.

“One of the magic things about Marvel is, anything is possible,” Anthony said. “I think it’s important to remember and to think about — and this is something we try to do as storytellers and I know that Marvel values highly — is that there are many different ways you can go. There are many different stories you can tell and many different directions.”

Those directions could involve time travel or flashbacks. “Time doesn’t always flow in one direction. You can go backwards in time, you can go forwards in time,” the co-director hinted.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming 2” (which does not have an official title yet) is the biggest reason fans think dead characters might return. The flick is set to come out in July 2019, just a couple months after “Avengers 4,” and it has already been confirmed that it kicks off a few minutes after the epic team-up ends. However, it could easily be a frame that flashes back to before “Infinity War” or introduce a new Spider-Man, like Miles Morales.

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Peter Parker (Tom Holland) might not return from the dead in “Avengers 4.” Marvel Studios

The directors didn’t directly address the “Spider-Man” franchise, but they noted that T’Challa doesn’t have to be the Black Panther. Anthony suggested Okoye (Danai Gurira) could take over while Joe pointed out that Shuri (Letitia Wright), who is T’Challa’s sister, might take the mantle next.

However, they emphasized that they hadn’t told directors or writers what to do after “Avengers 4.” “All you do when you shake things up like this is you put the responsibility on the storytellers to come up with creative solutions that are going to be as exciting or more exciting than the possibility that existed beforehand,” Anthony teased.

Though they didn’t completely rule out the possibility of some characters returning from the dead, the brothers emphasized that there will be losses after the movie.

“I think one thing we’ve illustrated since we got involved with the Marvel Universe, that I think a direction we’ve been pushing it in, is that there are real costs. There are real costs involved and those costs always balance out in some way,” Joe warned.

“Avengers 4” hits theaters May 3, 2019.