X-FILES 2 at WonderCon

The creators and stars of The X-Files made a special pilgrimage to the San Francisco WonderCon, where they discussed the challenges of reuniting after five years, and revealed the first footage from the new movie.
The X-Files creator Chris Carter believes that the highly-anticipated second feature represents the best of the TV series.

"This movie takes some of the most, I think, essential themes of The X-Files and incorporates them and puts them to the test," Carter said at WonderCon in San Francisco on Feb. 23. "I think that for me, so much of The X-Files was about skepticism, but it was also about faith, and I think that plays a big part of this movie."

Carter (right) and his co-writer, producer Frank Spotnitz, assembled and pitched the proposed film's story five years ago. Once Carter settled the legal disputes he had with Fox, the studio gave him an ultimatum: Make the movie "now or never."

"We dusted off that old story, and we saw that it needed work," recalled Carter. "So we got back to work on it."

The plotline remains a closely-guarded secret, but Spotnitz described the sequel as "scary...exciting...personal" and "romantic".

The X-Files WonderCon panel--which featured Carter and Spotnitz alongside the film's stars, Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny--was preceded by footage from the sequel. It opened on a line of FBI agents in a snowy field, led by Amanda Peet (as an FBI special agent in charge) and Billy Connolly (as a man with really long white hair). A series of quick cuts introduced a long-haired Agent Dana Scully (Anderson), Agent Fox Mulder (Duchovny) in a car, and a couple of bodies. The reel ended with the release date: July 25, 2008.

The film--still shooting in Vancouver, BC, under director Carter, in his feature debut--picks up five years after the end of the TV show. The "X-File" at the heart of the story remains the same, but most else in the script has been revised. Between the time of the original draft and Fox's "use it or lose it" missive, Carter and Spotnitz realized that their lives, and their views on life, had changed. So, they decided, it would be that way for their protagonists, as well.

"The truth is, after all that time, Mulder and Scully were different people," said Spotnitz. "Their personal lives--the state of their relationship, all those things--have changed over time, and that was kind of interesting."

Anderson's life had changed so much since she turned in her FBI badge in 2002, it took her two days to reacquaint herself with the "alter ego" from whom she'd intentionally distanced herself.

"It's an interesting conundrum to deal with on a daily basis, and sometimes it's pleasurable, and sometimes it's just too confusing," she said. "And, also, doing it for a film is different from doing it for a television series."

Co-star Duchovny also found his return to the iconic Mulder to be a challenge. "It's not quite like being in a play, where you're recreating the character every night from the beginning, but it is something like that, I would imagine. There's a certain kind of honoring of the past work that you've done. You don't want to explode the character just because you don't remember... And then you also want to honor the fact that the person has had five years of a life happening. That makes it interesting."

[Sci Fi Wire reports by news editor PATRICK LEE.]
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