Anticipation is really beginning to build for Ridley Scott’s 3D sci-fi movie Prometheus. But instead of just using trailers to keep the momentum going, Scott has been introducing us to the world Prometheus is set in, via a clever series of viral videos and advertising campaigns.
The TED talk from the year 2023, featuring Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland, started it all off. In it, Weyland talks about “cybernetic individuals” that will soon be “completely indistinguishable from us.”
This quote neatly lines up the latest Prometheus video, entitled Happy Birthday David. David 8 is an android, and just as Weyland said — he looks exactly the same as you and me. Well, if we all looked like Michael Fassbender anyway.
David is a butler aboard the spaceship in Prometheus, linking back to Scott’s original Alien, where Ian Holm’s deceitful character Ash is revealed (spoiler alert) to be an android, and Lance Henrikson’s Bishop in James Cameron’s sequel Aliens. David’s head inside plastic at the start of the video also recalls Ash’s fate in Alien.
In the video, David says he “can do almost anything that could possibly be asked of me,” including things that his “human counterparts might find distressing or unethical.” He says he thinks about children playing, angels and robots, but is upset by war, poverty and “unnecessary violence.”
Happily smelling flowers and painting models, he’s the picture of normality, except his emotions are faked, and only come from an understanding of the concept. It’s very creepy indeed, drawing on the reasons many find clowns or dolls unsettling, as any emotion he shows — the tear for example — is false and put on only for our benefit, masking his true intent.
Like Guy Pearce in his future TED talk, Michael Fassbender’s performance here is mesmerizing. His lack of expression and movement is disturbing enough, but his emotionless voice, the upbeat music and colorful locations all suggest something is very, very wrong under the surface.
This excellent teaser will be joined by an advert for the David 8 android set to be printed in The Wall Street Journal soon. It’s especially notable due to Verizon’s involvement, as David is listed as being “manufactured by Weyland, powered by Verizon.”
Ridley Scott is a renowned “world builder” proven by his work on Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator to name just a few, and so far, he’s bringing the same level of genius to Prometheus too.
We featured the movie in our list of “films we hope don’t suck” this year, and at the moment things are looking very positive indeed. Prometheus will be released June 8.