Alien: Covenant is the latest installment in one of the greatest horror franchises in movie history, but in a new teaser focusing on Michael Fassbender’s android character, Walter, the film pays ominous homage to perhaps the most influential literary horror of all time: Frankenstein.
The brief short, which teases a #MeetWalter event later this week, is a series of close-up glimpses of Walter’s synthetic form.
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge,” Walter says in a brief, dramatic voiceover. If past Alien movies are anything to go by, learning about the existence of xenomorphs is pretty damn dangerous, but there’s more to it than just that since it’s a line from Mary Shelley’s iconic 1818 novel, Frankenstein.
Walter doesn’t complete the quote, however. The full line is delivered early in the story by the titular Dr. Frankenstein to the reader as he explains his hubris, warning them not to make the same mistakes (i.e. create an undead monster) as he did.
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”
Given that Shelley’s original story also bore the title The Modern Prometheus, it’s hardly the first time the Alien franchise has echoed or paid homage to the foundational work of horror fiction. In addition to the chest-bursting terror the xenomorphs present, the series has also repeatedly made androids like Fassbender’s character threats as well — it’s mankind’s creation turned against itself (or at least some hapless crewmembers).
We’ll probably learn a little more about Fassbender’s character on March 10, as the #MeetWalter hashtag hints, and we’ll certainly know much more on May 19 when Alien: Covenant hits theaters.