The Los Angeles Film Festival gave X-Files fans a long awaited sneak peak at this summer’s sequel, X-Files: I Want to Believe. Entertainment Weekly hosted a screening of two clips from the film and a panel discussion with star David Duchovny, creator and director Chris Carter, and writer Frank Spotnitz.
The clips were so revealing, viewers could gather the following: Scully and Mulder are in it, they’re looking for something, and they disagree about how to go about it. The panelists were equally tight-lipped about plot details, but at least one clip showed Scully bringing up Mulder’s sister, so that made the crowd go wild.
Despite their best efforts they couldn’t keep everything a secret, here are 10 other tidbits the panelists let slip during the presentation:
1.Scully and Mulder are All Grown Up:
“I thought that was the smart first move that Frank and Chris made was to allow time to go on in the world of The X-Files as it’s gone on in the world at large,” said Duchovny. “So that we wouldn’t be trying to play these characters set in stone as we last saw them, or even when you look back when Gillian [Anderson] and I first played the characters in 1993. I think that’s probably one of the most interesting things as an actor to try and embody is the same character as time goes by and not wanting to just be a cartoon guy who’s frozen in time but actually working with changes of life or consciousness that happen to all of us with time.
2. But it’s still Scully and Mulder:
“Mulder and Scully I think for us as writers came back very, very quickly,” said Spotnitz. “They were there. I think very quickly we had pretty deep convictions about where they would be in their lives and what the nature of their relationship would be. It was intuitive and emotional.”
3. There are some new people in the movie too:
“Amanda Peet, we were looking for somebody who had Gillian‘s gravity and intelligence and authority to be this really strong, smart, capable young FBI agent commanding this manhunt,” said Spotnitz. “Xzibit was just discovered in casting. We had no clue. As it turned out, he had done a rap song that mentioned The X-Files years ago. Then Billy Connolly was somebody that Chris had really wanted to work with for a very long time, admired from a movie called Mrs. Brown and he wanted to do it as well. He actually has a lovely goatee and we had to shave it off for which we felt very guilty.” Duchovny joked about Xzibit, “He pimped Chris‘s ride.”
4.It’s still Mulder who “Wants to Believe”:
“I Want to Believe, if you remember the poster on Mulder’s wall in his office from the pilot episode said, ‘I want to believe’ on it,” said Carter. “So it drew from the very beginning. It really also I think sums up, I’d call it the nature of Mulder’s quest which is he struggles with his faith and the things unseen and the unknown and the mysterious. So it’s not that he takes things just on faith. He actually struggles with that faith.”
5. It’s for fans and their friends, so bring a newbie:
“This movie was made for all the people in this room tonight,” said Spotnitz. “If it weren’t for the fans of the show, this movie never would have gotten made. We wanted it to work for the fans and especially work for the fans. But then having said that, we needed it to work for the great big audience out there. We were especially excited at the idea of introducing this show and these characters to people who were too young to watch The X-Files when it was on originally, which was quite a few people. So it’s designed to work on both levels.”
6. Don’t come looking for nostalgia:
“I don’t think there was any kind of nostalgic feel to the film,” said Duchovny. “It really felt from the inception all the way through execution that we were just making a good film. We just wanted to make a good thriller. The subject matter called a certain amount of nostalgia in the characters and everything but it wasn’t going to be one of these films that was constantly winking and nodding and trying to pander that kind of nostalgia. I think it’s inherent in the enterprise but we really wanted to make a great film that stood on its own.”
7. Sometimes they made it up as they went along:
“One of the hardest nights of shooting, we were filming in a place that was not exactly in the script and it was not exactly scripted,” said Carter. “I swear to you, no one on the crew including this man knew what I was doing. I was just like leading people. ‘We’re going to shoot here and we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this.’ It’s not a good way to make a movie.”
8. It’s old school X-Files:
“What I’ve been saying is I think it harkens back to the kind of beginnings of the show,” said Duchovny. “The first couple years, the first three years where we were really the only thriller, horror, scary show on television. I know that everybody loves Mulder and Scully and the relationships and all that but I think originally, that’s what people fell in love with. Here’s a show that’s doing this. There hasn’t been a show like this that’s doing that. In many ways, we got back to our roots of the show.”
9. And they’re still talking about William:
“William is referenced,” said Carter. “We have not forgotten him. They have not forgotten him. This is a movie that as we’ve said, not a mythology movie, so it doesn’t depend on his absence or existence. It is a story that takes place apart from him. That’s not to say that we’ve forsaken him.”
10. This is not the end:
“It’s set up for another movie if this movie does well,” said Carter. But if it were, Spotnitz added, “I felt like at the end of this movie, if this were the last time we saw Mulder and Scully, I’d be very proud to leave it at that moment. I hope it’s not, but if it is then I feel pretty good about the work.”