Exclusive: Frank Spotnitz on The X-Files' potential return to TV

News Louisa Mellor 20 Nov 2012 - 17:19

Former executive producer of The X-Files "wouldn't be surprised at all" if the show returned to the small screen...

With the BBC broadcast of Hunted finishing this Thursday, we chatted to series creator Frank Spotnitz about the BBC's decision not to renew the spy drama, the show's public reception, and his plans for the forthcoming HBO/Cinemax Hunted spin-off. That interview will be available to read in full tomorrow, but in the meantime, we thought you might be interested in this little snippet of The X-Files-related chat.

As a former executive producer of The X-Files, we first asked Spotnitz what the status was on the franchise's planned third and final film (Spotnitz recently told Collider that he, Chris Carter and the cast want to press ahead, but the studio is dragging its feet based on the second movie's performance):

We're as keen as you are for The X-Files film trilogy to finally be completed. Do you have a script for the third film in place?

No. No I don’t. I mean I’ve known for many years what I would like the movie to be and I’ve been talking to Chris Carter about it for many years, but there is no script.

Is it still the big alien invasion movie you want to do?

Yes, it’s the climax of the alien colonisation story that began the series.

Do you foresee The X-Files ever pulling a Star Trek and returning to the small screen in a different incarnation?

I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I mean, I don’t think I would have anything to do with it, but you know, for better or for worse, these things are titles of big corporations, like Star Trek belongs to Paramount and The X-Files belongs to Twentieth Century Fox and it’s a huge asset in their libraries so I can’t imagine they would let it sit languishing forever.

Mulder and Scully: The College Years?

Anything could happen. I just hope that if they do it, they do it well, that’s my only request.

We'll second that request. Straw poll though, over a decade since Millenium and The Lone Gunmen ended, who welcomes the idea of a new X-Files TV prequel/sequel/spin-off?

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Disqus - noscript

I would absolutely LOVE the X Files to come back. But here's the thing: It would mean Duchovny would have to leave Californication and THAT aint happening!
Dunno what I'd do without my annual Moody fix...

To sum him up: 'Never say never'

It's not a terrible idea, but as the first incarnation mainly worked around the fact that Fox Mulder never thought to take a camera anywhere with him ever, despite seeing mind boggling events on a weekly basis, then today's proliferation of camera phones might put a bit of a dent in how the plots would work if it's set in modern times.

(Seriously, every freaking episode, he has a gun, he has a torch, he often has a phone. But a camera... no way...)

A much more appealing idea to me would be to go back and look at the origin of the X-Files properly. There was a flash back episode somewhere in there, maybe in season 3 or 4, that looked at the earlier days of the X-Files.

Also you'd maybe have to have a different dynamic than the sceptic/believer relationship of M&S, else it's just a rehashing of what went before. Maybe open it out and have a small group of people with some undecideds in there too.

Modern CGI and today's improved approach to shows like these in terms of story arc mean they might be able to make something quite special.

I'd love to see ANYTHING X-Files, though I'd prefer to get a third movie/conclusion to the colonization storyline before any kind of reboot.
The concept for the show is still a great one, though they might have to change things a bit to fit the 21st century. The original played so much upon the 90's angst and distrust of government. They could still do monster stories and great sci-fi, but to truly capture the feel of the original they'd need to have wonderful writers and production people involved like there were before (people like Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan, as well as Chris Carter, who created the show, and Frank Spotnitz, as mentioned in the article).

I would rather see a Millennium movie than an X-Files movie. It wouldn't take much tweaking to tap into the existential angst of the early 21st century and turn it into something absolutely terrifying. '

actually a continuation with new characters wouldnt be too bad...SO LONG AS IT HAD THE SAME PACING. one of the things that made X Files great was that it wasnt fringe or Dr Who. So long as they made that casting smart, used ideas from the original series and made it all cohesive it would be great.

Usually, I'd be all for a show continuing with new characters, but the reason the X Files worked was Mulder and Scully. Not just the expert handling of the characters, but more specifically, the CHEMISTRY of Duchovny and Anderson.

They tried to replace them when the show was in it's death throes with Doggett and Reyes, remember? It was rubbish.

The first X-Files movie in 1998 should have been the climax to the ongoing alien conspiracy storyline, that was the time they had a sufficiently large budget to pull off a story on an epic scale, whilst the second (and final) movie should have been a smaller and more intimate movie that would have resolved Mulder's search for Samantha... and good Lord, no to the series returning, they ran it into the ground as it is, the original intent was always to end it after five seasons, and they should have stuck to that.

And here's a tip for Mr Spotnitz; let it go, if FOX are still dragging their feet in greenlighting a third movie a whole FOUR YEARS after the last one flopped, chances are it ain't going to happen, and neither should it! If any FOX series is heading to the big screen in the near future, it's '24', which has a finished script ready to go...

Maybe they shouldn't have completely mangled the ending of the original tv series. That's my only request.

We shall always owe The X-Files a great debt because it popularised paranormal drama and undeniably opened the way for subsequent greats such as Fringe or Lost. However the X-Files remains a baby in a genre that has grown up fast since it left our televisions.

I wish the X-Files would have continued with Doggett. I liked Doggett a lot. He brought a new approach to the show, but it worked. They didn't give it enough of a chance to take off with him leading.

I don't want to see a reboot. We invested a lot of time in the original characters and storyline and never really got the conclusion it had been building up to. The second movie didn't really go in the direction the fans wanted, i.e. the alien colonisation storyline, which was a bit of a let down, but the movie would have been decent enough as a monster of the week episode of the series.

Anyway, to those that say the second one was a flop so there's no way there'd be a third one, look at The Chronicles of Riddick - a big budget flop with a sequel coming in 2013, and that was all down to fan loyalty. Anything's possible.

I think you should make more xfiles

Yes, a reboot of the X-Files would be very welcome. Like Spotnitz said though, if a reboot were to happen, then it needs to be done well. Duchovny and Anderson returning to do the show would be awesome.

I won't support anything that doesn't have David and GIllian in it. Instead of putting their efforts into something that will flop, put their efforts into something we've been begging them for for years, X-Files 3. We need closure and for them to find WIlliam, not the teen lives of M and S.

Definitely would love to see this show come back. The chemistry of Skully and Mulder was great but they proved they could keep it interesting by introducing the right characters at the right time through out season 8 so they could probably do it again too. I admit when I watched the series originally I hated all the change, but running through the entire series again all these years later with my daughter I appreciate the changes a lot more now.

A third movie wouldn't make sense without Mulder and Skully.

Yes Yes Yes! Couldn't agree more.William needs to be found by his parents...we need that to happen and for all the milions of Xfiles fans to find closure.

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