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David Duchovny talks X-Files movie mistakes and the upcoming revival series

04.30.2015

It had been six years since The X-Files had gone off the air and fans were eagerly awaiting Mulder and Scully's return in THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE; this was Chris Carter's chance to return The X-Files to its glory days and hopefully lead to future X-Files' films. Sadly THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE failed to connect with audiences and seemed to spell the end of Chris Carter's fantastic creation. Thankfully that was not the case as it was announced earlier this year that The X-Files would be returning to television for a six-episode series.

David Duchovny, who will be returning along with Gillian Anderson, spoke with THR about the upcoming revival series but also pointed the finger at Fox for mistakes made with their last X-Files outing:

That didn't work out with the movies. … [The second movie] did well, but I guess not well enough. Fox made some mistakes with that movie that hurt the franchise and they didn't seem to want to do another movie. So as the TV landscape changed and as it became conceivable to do this show without doing 22 or 25 [episodes] of them on television, then it seemed like a natural thing.

THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE has definitely grown on me in the years since its release but I think myself and a lot of fans were hoping for something...more when we stepped into that theater seven years ago. The film could very well have been the last time we ever saw Mulder and Scully but instead of one last adventure, it simply felt like an overlong episode of the show. Of course opening the week after THE DARK KNIGHT didn't help matters. Despite his comments about Fox hurting the franchise all those years ago Duchovny doesn't have any similar concerns about The X-Files' return to television saying that it will play "like a six-hour movie."

It's been awhile since I've played Mulder so it's going to be strange for sure the first couple days. Luckily Gillian will be there and we'll be there for each other to say, "That doesn’t seem right or something like that," All the principals are back. Chris will be there, Gillian will be there, I'll be there and we can all check on each other and say, 'Is this the show?' Because we'll find it. It's just a matter of relaxing and letting it happen. It's going to be the same show, it's obviously going to be different times and the characters are going to be older and all of the things that are going to be changing naturally will change.

Series creator Chris Carter spoke with The Province as well as The Vancouver Sun and revealed several new details on what we can expect once the show returns, such as the relationship between Mulder and Scully may not be in the same place where we last left it. Chris Carter also teased that there's a possibility their son William may make an appearance, but that if he doesn't he will certainly be referred to. The X-Files revival will begin shooting in Vancouver this summer so Carter and his team of writers are already hard at work:

I’m just going over the first draft that I’ll be turning in today to the studio and to the network and also to the other writers. Everyone will be able to take out their big red pen and have their way with it.

We'd previously known that Mitch Pileggi would be returning as Walter Skinner and that William B. Davis may be putting in an appearance as the Cigarette Smoking Man but now Chris Carter as confirmed that both of them will be involved in the new series.

I’ll confirm they’re both coming back. I won’t say how they’re coming back. As people who know the show know, the Cigarette Smoking Man was incinerated in the series finale (two-parter The Truth, in 2002), so how he comes back is going to be handled — I’ll call it — “in a particular X-Files way."

Carter also reiterated that the new series will be a mixture of mythology and stand-alone episodes, but that they will all fit together:

You really get what you have come to expect with “The X-Files,” which is a combination of the ongoing Mulder and Scully conspiracy saga, relationship and stand-alone episodes that will come interspersed. That said, it will all be of a piece, meaning that it won’t feel disconnected. It’ll all feel as if it’s taking place in what I would call television “real time.”

Despite all the changes that have occurred in the world of television since The X-Files went off the air, Chris Carter is still approaching this new series the same way they always have.

I’m mindful of tolerances and changes. That said, I still think we approach the show in the same way ... One thing that’s changed in format is that it’s now a five-act format rather than a four-act format. I think the running time is about the same but we had to get a special dispensation to do the approach that we had taken originally with the show, which was a teaser — a little two- or three-minute segment in the beginning that sets up the show. They had done away with that approach on Fox, so they allowed us to go back to, I would call it, old-style.

The X-Files begins shooting this summer and should air on Fox in 2016. I can't wait.

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