The ‘Alien’ franchise is undergoing something of a revival of late, with both Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Alien 5’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant‘, the sequel to 2012’s ‘Prometheus’, in varying stages of production. Though Blomkamp’s film has reportedly been placed on the back burner until next year, Scott’s has wrapped principle photography, which places it firmly in the spotlight.

Returning star Michael Fassbender is fast becoming a major source of information on the upcoming film, having recently let slip some minor spoilers regarding a new breed of Xenomorph that will debut in the film. Now, in conversation with The Irish Times, Fassbender has revealed that in addition to reprising his ‘Prometheus’ character of David, he is also playing a second android called “Walter”. In addition to revealing his double role in the film, Fassbender also took the opportunity to emphasize his considerable respect for the director:

“I am allowed to say I am playing to robots – Walter and David. I think what’s great about it is that Ridley has gone back to the DNA of ‘Alien’, the horror element of that. But it also has the scope and scale of ‘Prometheus’. Ridley has cut it already. He’s a machine. He is an incredible human being and he was in such good form. He is such an imaginative and mischievous figure.”

Fassbender’s dual role carries with it echoes of the fan favorite android Bishop, played by actor Lance Henriksen. Henriksen also appeared briefly in ‘Alien 3’ as a character credited as “Bishop II,” though it remains ambiguous whether this second Bishop was the android’s human template (as he claimed) or simply an identical android.

Currently due for release on August 4, 2017, ‘Alien: Covenant’ sees director Ridley Scott return once more to the franchise he established in 1979. The film’s cast includes ‘Prometheus’ stars Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, along with newcomers Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, and Billy Crudup.