X-Files Sequel Title Dispute

IGN sees new footage from the film and learns the title is still out there.

At the X-Files tribute/reunion at the Paley Festival Wednesday night, series creator Chris Carter was of course asked about the upcoming X-Files movie he directed and co-wrote with Frank Spotnitz. Asked why the film is happening now, Carter answered, "'Cause [20th Century] Fox said now or never! We said better than never." Carter said production had finished filming ten days earlier.

Present on the reunion panel was actor Mitch Pileggi, who played Walter Skinner on the series. Pileggi is apparently not in the new film, and turned to Carter, jokingly asking "You guys did another movie?" to which Carter smiled and replied "We only asked the popular characters back." Pileggi shook his head and said "It hurts."

Rob Bowman, who directed the first X-Files film, not to mention many episodes of the series, was on the panel, as was another frequent director from the show, David Nutter. Bowman continued the teasing jokes, asking Carter "Well if David didn't direct it, and I didn't direct it, who directed it?"

Carter and Spotnitz have been very tightlipped on the plot of the film, which continued here. Carter said simply that the film will be "true to the passage of the time," picking up with "Mulder and Scully six years later." The moderator drew lots of laughs from the very enthusiastic X-Files fans in attendance, when she asked if Mulder and Scully had been spending those six years "In a New Mexico hotel."

Carter spoke about how he and Spotnitz had actually planned to do a new X-Files film very shortly after the series ended, and in fact "We went to the length of actually working on the story, and then there was this lawsuit that got in the way." He recalled how after a long time of waiting, he suddenly got a call telling him the lawsuit was resolved, and that almost immediately Fox called and said "We want to make the movie."

Years earlier, Carter and Spotnitz had actually jotted down many ideas for a new film on cards, and Carter said once he got word they could go back to work on the film, he in turn then immediately called Spotnitz and said "Get those cards out!" However, it turned out those cards had somehow been lost, and with them many ideas Carter and Spotnitz had for the film originally. In the end though, while the final version is "derivative of the original idea," Carter said "I think the story we did is superior to the story that we had."

Of course another mystery of the new film is the title. When Carter was asked if he could say what it would be, he answered that he could not, and in fact revealed that the title was still an unresolved issue. Said Carter, "I know what I want it to be, but Fox has ideas of their own. And I know what it should be."

The audience was also treated to the surprise debut of the brand new trailer to the film, which at an audience member's request was actually shown twice.

The trailer is very similar to the teaser for the first X-Files film, complete with the static-blue flickers between images. The opening has text on screen with statements like "There are mysteries that can't be solved", "Beliefs that cannot be trusted", and "Events that cannot be explained." These statements are intercut with lots of quick cuts of footage from the film, including a large group of people (possibly FBI agents?) walking on an icy terrain with a helicopter flying overhead; lots of glimpses of scientists or doctors operating on someone; and actor Billy Connolly opening his eyes, which appear frighteningly red.

The words "And a truth that cannot be ignored" then appears on screen, and you the hear the familiar whistle of the X-Files theme and a shadowy figure holding a flashlight. Over a black screen, Mulder can be heard saying "Scully" – seemingly another nod to the teaser to the first film, where Scully's voice could be heard saying "Mulder" – before we cut to Mulder finish his sentence – "Scully, I need you on this with me." Cut to Scully, dressed in hospital scrubs, who replies "That's what scares me."

We than get more very quick cuts, including the following images: Someone being dragged through the snow; more images of a large group in an arctic setting; Mulder also in the snow; a car crash involving Mulder; Scully swinging a large object at the camera; and actor Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica) submerging his face underwater. Many female audience members shrieked their approval at a shot of Mulder caressing Scully's face in his hands. We then see a hand wipe away snow and ice and see what appears to be a figure underneath. Amanda Peet, possibly in the same sequence, is seen looking down at something on the ground, surrounded by fellow FBI agents, and jumping back and gasping.

The screen then cuts to black, and as there's a slow fade-up on Mulder and Scully exiting a just-landed helicopter with their backs facing us, as Connolly's voice can be heard asking "So you believe in these kind of things?" Mulder then is heard answering "Let's just say I want to believe."

The image of Mulder and Scully walking from the helicopter fades out and the words "Believe Again" appear to the left of the giant X used in the X-Files logo, with the release date, July 25, appearing at the bottom right of the logo.



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