New Photos From X-FILES 2

They're leaking out very slowly, but some new shots of Mulder & Scully are available for your viewing pleasure. Sorry, no spoilers.
Yesterday, some new pics hit the Web, showing X-Files heroes Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) doing some exciting a desk. Oh, and walking, too.

But it's unlikely that writer/director/series creator Chris Carter would release anything that gave away the top secret plot of the untitled X-Files sequel, which he penned with his old cohort Frank Spotnitz. In a recent interview with SCOTT BOWLES of USA Today, Carter still refused to divulge any points from the story.

We do know, however, that the plot is a complete departure from the long-running mythology of the popular Fox TV series: aliens live among us and have enlisted humans in their colonizing effort. It made The X-Files one of the most popular shows of the '90s, but the complexity (and bizarre turns) of that plot ultimately drove many viewers away.

"We spent a lot of time on [the mythology] and wrapped up a lot of threads" when the show ended, said Carter. "We want a stand-alone movie, not a mythology conspiracy one."

So, while the 1998 movie, X-Files: Fight The Future, stuck to the conspiracy storyline, albeit in a big-screen way, the new film dumps all that and follows a thriller/horror story instead.

In 2005, Duchovny spoke of the premise for the yet-unproduced film. "Mulder and Scully investigate one particular case that has nothing to do with alien life. It has to do with supernatural stuff. I think we're going back to the 'monster of the week' type feel, where if you're not an avid fan and don't understand the mythology you can still come to it and get the movie."

The show's stand-alone "monster of the week" episodes included cults, ghosts, psychics and ancient curses.

"At its strongest, it had really creepy stand-alone episodes," said Blair Butler of the G4TV network, which caters to video-game enthusiasts and science-fiction fans. "They turned it into a great franchise."

Carter wanted to go right into the second movie when the show wrapped (disastrously) in 2002. A legal dispute with 20th Century Fox put the project on pause until the case was settled. In April '07, Spotnitz confirmed that a script was finally in development. The following October, the studio officially announced the production of the sequel film, whose premise would be kept under wraps. In December, the film began lensing in Vancouver and Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada.

The Directors Guild lists a British Columbia project named Done One, which is believed by many to be the codename for The X-Files. The director of Done One is listed as "Rich Tracers", an anagram of Chris Carter.

The cast of the new film includes rapper Xzibit (8 Mile), Amanda Peet (The Whole Nine Yards), Callum Keith Rennie (Tin Man), Adam Godley (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Scottish comedian Billy Connolly (The Last Samurai). Sources have said that Xzibit and Peet will play FBI agents, but Fox won't confirm anything about the roles.

While all the secrecy, and now these new photos, have got the die-hard fans excited, Blair Butler is skeptical of its potential for broader success, since it comes six years after the show's conclusion, and a full ten years after the last film. "We'll see if it's fallen off the radar."

Carter, however, is confident of Duchovny's and Anderson's drawing power. "For me, The X-Files has always been a romance. They had an intellectual romance that's very rare and restrained compared to so many relationships on TV. I think that's what appealed most to the fans."

Unfortunately, that "intellectual romance" progressed to the real thing, as it was revealed at the end of the show's eighth season that Mulder was the father of Scully's "miracle" baby. It remains to be seen if any of that survives in this new trip to the big screen.

X-Files 2 is slated for a July 25th release.

[Thanks to HUNTER STEPHENSON at Slashfilm for the heads-up; to PAUL HEATH at The Hollywood News for the pics; to BYRON PERRY at Variety and GREGG GOLDSTEIN at The Hollywood Reporter for cast info; and to Wikipedia for background info.]
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