#RidleyScott is back, and staying true to form he's getting all up close and personal with androids again. This year brings with it the long awaited follow-up to Prometheus, the confusingly named Alien: Covenant, which supposedly will finally be the movie to act as a true Alien prequel.
The release date for #AlienCovenant is fast approaching (that's this May for those of you who haven't been keeping up), but last summer Collider visited the set while filming was taking place, and they learned a lot about one of the major characters — David — from the android's mouth itself, Michael Fassbender.
Filling the mandatory role of the creepy android for Prometheus was David, the bleach blond synthetic secretly operating under the orders of Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce) and his maniacal plan to challenge the Gods themselves. #Prometheus left us with the two survivors of the doomed expedition, David and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), heading off on the next stage of their journey, to find the Engineer's home planet.
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Both Rapace and Fassbender are returning for Covenant, although this time the latter is pulling double duty, portraying both David and Walter, the new android aboard the new ship. Walter will be a next-gen model of David, which Collider describe as being "stripped of all the former’s nastier human tendencies like ego, pride, and ambition, but nearly identical in every other way" and Fassbender calls a "Leonard Nimoy/Mr. Spock type character."
And oh yes, the two will appear in scenes together. Talk about seeing double.
But there's going to be something a little different about David this time around, something that will likely be highlighted through his interactions with Walter.
In narrative time it's been 10 years since David and Shaw left the moon V-223 in search of higher life. And a lot can change in that time. From the sounds of things, David is going to be a little more human than before. In fact, according to Fassbender, it seems as though the android is starting to develop real emotions:
"[David is] engaged in all sorts of human characteristics — insecurity, ego. Rage might come out of an insecurity. I don’t know if just rage on its own is an emotion. So playing those kinds of things is kind of tricky. But things like pride can be played, envy — we saw a bit of that with Logan Marshall-Green’s character in the last one. I suppose he likes to feel important. Pride, it comes back to that I suppose. So it’s just all a mix of those things, and they definitely are more prominent in him through the years, as time has passed."
But for what reason would this happen? Fassbender explained the reasons for David's programming slipping being the lack of maintenance having been done to him during his 10 year foray in space. Prometheus showed us that David is capable of self-maintenance, but clearly he lacks the necessary tools to do so wherever his travels have taken him in the 10 years since.
"It’s been 10 years since we last saw [David], without any maintenance. So those human qualities have sort of gathered momentum a little bit, I suppose. They’re as much a part of him now as his synthetic qualities."
So what does this mean? Is there a human soul behind the strict programming of each android, or is this just a clever way of explaining away why the robot gets angry sometimes? We'll find out soon enough, as Alien: Covenant is set for release May 19, 2017.
What are you most excited to see in Alien: Covenant? Tell us your thoughts in the comments, and check out the trailer below!