Report From the ‘X-Files: I Want to Believe’ Press Conference

This morning 20th Century Fox held their junket for The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which arrives in theaters this Friday. Inside you’ll find the meat of the conversations from director Chris Carter, producer Frank Spotnitz and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
Writer and Director Chris Carter talks to the press about how THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE came to be.

Fox came to us about a year after the final episode in the series. They said if you want to do another movie now is the time. It’s now or never (because of the looming writers strike). It’s now six years since it’s off the air, and we would have had to wait another two years if we had not gone forward now.

Carter also talked a bit about the franchises ability to continue on and how he expects Fox to return to them for another feature if this is successful. Although, they played it as if this is the final time you’ll see Scully and Mulder together…

The series lasted 202 episodes, about 80% of them are not mythology episodes. We wanted to do a story that stands alone, one that did not require you to have any pre-required knowledge of the story arc. We call it a monster of the week story. But we did this movie as if it would be the last time you see Mulder and Scully together… certainly (if it’s successful) Fox will be talking to us about another movie.

Writer and Producer Frank Spotnitz chatted about how they had to start from square one because he lost his original notes. The plan was to do this way back in 2003…

We started in 2003 on this particular X File, then [a couple years later] when we came back, I had lost the notes… so we started over,” he explains. “In that process of starting over, we found ourselves so interested in where Mulder and Scully would be in their lives. We saw it much more emotionally than we had, immediately after the show ended. The more you think about this movie, the more parallels that you see between what the bad guys are doing, what Mulder and Scully are doing, there’s a lot of residences that may not be obvious on a first viewing.

Spotnitz and Carter really focused their energy on the relationship between Mulder and Scully, instead of previous members of the cast.

We wanted to make a movie that was as pure to Scully and Mulder’s relationship; the more characters you bring in from the past, the more explaining you have to do. We would have loved to bring back many characters, but ultimately we chose just one.

The main focus on the film is based on the real-life beliefs of both Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz.

Chris is a person of faith, and I am a doubter, but the core of this movie is based around faith…

Some uncomfortable news came from David Duchovny, who preps us for disappointment by explaining that he didn’t come back because of the script… but because of his faith in the writing duo of Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz. Sounds like he’s passing the buck off, doesn’t it?

My coming back, was not based on the script. At this point I have complete blind trust of Chris and Franks writing,” Duchovny explains.

Duchovny also chatted a bit about not seeing eye-to-eye with Carter and wanted to inject more humor in the character Fox Mulder.

I just knew that the world that they made would be satisfying. Carter and I have always battled over my humor. As the series went on we did do some of the more funny episodes. I cant think of another show that balances the character arcs and different story lines, as the X-Files. In terms of me coming up with funny things in the moment, Chris and I have different theories about tension, he does not like to let the air out and I do. It’s just a difference of opinion.

He continues talking about the long-term relationship with Scully and the actors connection to the show.

The chemistry [between Mulder and Scully] is real because you don’t really have to look for it, maybe it was just luck in the beginning. We have been together for 15 years, as an actor I can call on many things.

I would not say that I was the one to get [a sequel] going, but whenever Chris and I would talk about it I would say yes. the love/hate hasn’t anything to do with the content or the people, it had to do with me wanting to get on with the rest of my life and my career. When you think about it I did eight years and Gillian did nine, there are no other dramas that keep the same characters that last this long – ER, Law and Order – they have all been recast. You don’t see actors NOT get fatigued and burnt out. There was always love for the show and the character. I love the X-Files and I love Vancouver.

Gillian Anderson also pushes off the blame of the film by claiming she has already been committed before the script was completed.

By the time I read the script, I was already onboard,” Gillian explains. “I didn’t think it would be difficult. I didn’t have all the running that David had in the film, but I did have a very difficult scene in the film where I had to confront Billy Connelly’s characters. I assumed my Scully voice would just be there, but it didn’t come until day 3 of shooting.

There you have it, the exciting (sarcastic) breakdown from a press conference for THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE, which arrives in theaters this Friday, July 25th.