In the run up to the release of Ridley Scott's Prometheus, one of the greatest pieces of marketing material was an in-world commercial centering on David - the new android character played by Michael Fassbender. Now that Alien: Covenant is a few months from release, 20th Century Fox has smartly repeated this move, and released the fantastic new viral video you'll find below:
The new trailer essentially gives a detailed breakdown of how the folks at Weyland-Yutani go about making their latest android models. Specifically, they are making a new line of artificial humans named Walter, and once again they look a whole lot like Michael Fassbender. It also promotes a brand new viral website called MeetWalter.com, and it becomes very clear very fast that a lot of detailed thought went into how this character both exists and functions.
But who is Walter? Allow me to help break him down.
Before we get into the details of Walter's personality, let's address the elephant in the room: why is it that Walter looks exactly like David? Well, I actually got Ridley Scott's reaction to this very question when I was on the set of Alien: Covenant last year with a small group of other film journalists. The director explained,
How many Mercedes Benz are there? You get a great android, it's good business. The same with Roy Batty. If he hadn't died, would have probably made a lot of Roy Battys!
Walter may look a whole lot like David, but the truth is that they actually have very specific differences. In the 10 years between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, it turns out that the general populace wound up being kind of freaked out by David's more human elements. As a result, Walter is far less emotional and, to borrow from another great science-fiction franchise, much more like a Vulcan. When we spoke with Michael Fassbender on set, he explained it thusly:
When the David 8 came out, there was a kind of resistance from people to that model because it freaked them out a little bit. He was demonstrating a lot of human qualities and his programming was veering towards human characteristics - like ego and vanity and pride. They found that to be not so much useful as opposed to making people uncomfortable. So they designed the following models with fewer of those human traits... well none of them really! So, Walter is just a very straight-forward, logical, synthetic really. He's more like sort of Leonard Nimoy and Doctor Spock-type character.
Audiences will be able to see Walter and David come face to face very soon, as Alien: Covenant is positioned to potentially be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer - released on May 19th. Stay tuned for more about the film here on CinemaBlend, and head on over to Page Two to watch the original, amazing David 8 viral that came out before Prometheus!