Last we saw Rhodey/War Machine in the Captain America: Civil War trailer, he wasn’t looking so hot. It appears as if Winter Soldier shoots him out of the sky and he crashes to Earth. Iron Man takes Rhodey’s mask off and he’s unconscious as Tony cradles him on his lap and covers the damage to his Arc reactor. This has led to a lot of fan theories that Rhodey bites the big one in Captain America: Civil War. Don Cheadle knows of your theories that he dies and he has something to say about them.

Cheadle, who is out promoting his directorial debut Miles Ahead, was asked by the New York Daily News about his character’s fate:

I’m on Twitter, so I’ve gotten a few people going, ‘Rhodey better not be dead, son. I’m going to be so mad.’ Or ‘I’m done with this thing if Rhodey’s dead.’ But that’s cool, I like that people get so upset about it. I like that in a Marvel movie people are able to evoke such emotion…It does look bad for Rhodey.

Yes, it does look bad for Rhodey, but that’s precisely why we don’t think he’s dead.

If you remember back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a lot of the same theories popped up about Nick Fury. There were shots in the trailer and TV spots that would certainly lead you to believe the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a goner and when you saw the movie there was certainly enough in the first half of the film to back that up. But, alas, Nick Fury was not dead, he was just laying low and even made a brief appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron (though he’s curiously sitting out Civil War). Marvel wants you to think that Rhodey could be dead, because it gets you invested in the fate of your favorite characters. It also works as a misdirect to avert your attention from the real surprise death in the film…

What is most likely is that Rhodey’s injuries are just enough to push Tony Stark over the edge, especially if it really is Bucky who shoots War Machine down. Don’t get too worried about Rhodey just yet, though.

Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.

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