Goodbye, and thanks for all the aliens.
The cast and crew of the still-untitled X-Files feature film sequel wrapped up work in Vancouver with a news conference Wednesday, a brief lifting of a curtain of secrecy that the production has maintained through three months of filming.
"We've had lots of paparazzi," said writer-director Chris Carter. "In Langley a couple of days ago a black SUV pulled up on the side of the road and there was a long lens pointed at us."
The next day, pictures of stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, locked in a full-on kiss as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, appeared on Internet fansites alongside breathless speculation about the characters' are-they-or-aren't-they romance.
"We staged that," Mr. Duchovny told reporters at the Sutton Place Hotel, where media were informed Anderson would not attend due to illness.
"It's been a two-way street," says Mr. Carter of the prying eyes. "To tell you the truth, I would like to make the movie secretly and put it out there on July 25, have everybody get a gift they could open."
Mr. Duchovny finished work late the night before and was catching a plane to Los Angeles yesterday. The rest of the crew were to finish by week's end. The movie is a stand-alone story unconnected to the series' ongoing conspiracy thread, but beyond that they're not saying much.
"We're not doing an exercise in nostalgia to appeal to the fans of the show," said co-writer and producer Frank Spotnitz. "We saw this as an opportunity to introduce the characters to people who may have been too young . . . It has a reason for being, even if there'd never been a television show before."
Mr. Carter said their secrecy extended to the fluorescent-pink signs film productions use to direct crew to locations. Their signs read "Done One Productions."
The original series filmed for five years in Vancouver starting in 1993 and became a big hit for the Fox network, in turn boosting Vancouver's filmmaking profile.
"It would please me to no end to think that we were helpful to Vancouver, because this was the perfect city to film this particular show in," Mr. Duchovny said. "When we came here, we barely knew what we were doing, and as we got better, the crews grew with us."
The show moved production to Los Angeles after the fifth season and continued there for four more years. A 1998 feature film also shot in L.A.
But cast and crew kept their ties to Vancouver -- Mr. Carter still has a home in the city and Mr. Duchovny has filmed two movies here since The X-Files headed south.
Co-writer mr. Spotnitz said the new script was written specifically for locations in Vancouver and Pemberton, where they filmed for three weeks. As with the series, the B.C. locations stand in for places in the U.S. The producers showed reporters a trailer for the new movie with Ms. Anderson, Mr. Duchovny and shaggy co-star Billy Connolly searching a snowy field with dogs and sticks for some unspecified monster.
The new story picks up with the main characters in real time, six years after the events of the series. Mr. Duchovny, who left the series the year before it wrapped, said he always wanted The X-Files to become a feature franchise.
"This is a great, flawed, questing hero -- there's always more stories for that person to be involved in," said the actor, who now stars in another TV series, the dysfunctional-sex comedy Californication.
He brought his children with actress wife Tea Leoni to stay in Whistler during this latest working trip. "I do consider Vancouver one of the three cities I've lived in in my my life," Mr. Duchovny said. "It is a home away from home."