At the start of last month, ‘Spooky’ Mulder himself David Duchovny made some very promising comments to IMDB that suggested it’s a matter of when, not if, the movie enters production. "This week, they're starting some kind of road towards doing it (the film). Gillian and I both want to be in it now. We're happy to do it. At this point all of the kind of fatigue and anxiety that we had towards the end of a nine-year run is gone," he told the website.
"We've forgotten why we hate one another and can only remember why we love one another and we're very happy to go back. Chris [Carter] and Frank [Sponitz] are going over the story. It's a story they've had for a few years but we haven't all settled on the fact that we wanted to do it, so now they're hammering it out."
As for sceptical Scully, actress Gillian Anderson confirmed to the BBC Movies website last month that “there are new rumours of an X-Files movie possibly happening, which is brilliant”. She optimistically added: “Whenever they manage to get it together I'm on board.”
But don’t go rushing to start countdowns towards potential release dates just yet, because we’ve heard it all before. Read these comments from Duchovny back in January 2005, as told to The Sun Online: "We’re hoping to get together just under a year from now and make another X Files movie. Chris is working on the script right now with Frank Spotnitz, who was one of the writers on the show”. Experiencing a slight sense of deja vu there?
It would come as no surprise to learn that 20th Century Fox are keen for the production to roll ahead, given that the first X Files film, subtitled ‘Fight The Future’, grossed an estimated $180 million at the international box office in 1998. The television series drew to a discreet close in 2002 after nine seasons, but after a few quiet years the dormant fan base of such a global phenomenon are waiting to be awoken, with many having deserted the series long before it concluded.
What ultimately turned so many casual X-Filers off the show was the growing reliance on the conspiracy-related mythologies around the fourth/fifth season. The viewer was constantly being taken to the brink of uncovering the truth, only to be thrown more questions instead of answers. Enough was enough, and the audience slipped away like Eugene Tooms through a ventilation shaft.
So what really whets the appetite is the fact that it’s been openly stated by the cast and writers that the proposed movie will be a stand-alone effort, described by Duchovny as a ‘supernatural thriller’. Anderson further expanded on this last month in an interview with Empire Online, stating that “all Chris says is that he wants to make a really scary horror, like a stand-alone episode. I don’t think they’re interested in touching on any of the conspiracy stuff.”
However, they say a film is only as good as its script, which leads to an ever so slightly worrying obstacle. There currently is no script. Unless the producers insist on Anderson and Duchovny using their improvisational skills to the max, and perhaps miming an alien invasion that they can CGI in afterwards, then that needs to be addressed. This is worrying given Duchovny’s comments at the start of 2005, where the script was seemingly in progress.
Another stumbling block was the legal battle between X Files creator Chris Carter and the Fox network over the revenue generated by reruns of the show. But judging by Gillian Anderson’s recent comments to Empire Online that now seems to have been resolved: “I know that Chris’ lawsuit with Fox is over, so maybe now it can be done.”
Let’s just hope the movie finally emerges from development hell before Mulder and Scully are forced to tackle the supernatural forces with their Zimmer frames. The stress of waiting for the movie to be made threatens to turn us all into Cigarette Smoking Men at this rate…