After six years out of the spotlight, director Chris Carter has returned to the creepy world of The X-Files in The X-Files: I Want To Believe, in theaters now. With such a long stretch of time since we last saw Mulder and Scully, things have definitely changed in their lives, and the same holds true with Carter. Here, Chris Carter brings Filmazing up to speed on what's happened with his characters and himself — and true to form, neither is what you'd expect.
Q: Us X-Files fans have been waiting a long time, sux [years] to be exact. Can you fill us in on where we were when we left [Mulder and Scully] six years ago and where we are at the beginning of this film?
A: Six years ago, Mulder was on trial on charges brought on him by the FBI. He became a fugitive from the law. He and Scully basically rode off into the sunset, six years ago. When we pick up with Mulder and Scully now, we’re imagining where they would be six years after that event. So it’s really in real time, so in other words, they’ve aged six years in the process.
Q: And that’s fun to see, instead of [the film picking up] like it was just yesterday. But this X-Files movie also goes some places that they haven’t been before. Now, we don’t want to give anything away, but tease us a little bit.
A: Well, these people have known each other for 16 years. They’ve had a relationship. It’s been professional, it’s been respectful, it’s been at a distance, it’s been chaste, but it’s been full of sexual tension, as people would say. We tried to imagine, coming back, what that relationship would entail, where it would be, what it would be like, how we would find them. And really that’s at the heart of the story.
That being said, we tell you a really good, scary tale, and that’s what they investigate.
Q: Now in this film there’s a little bit of belief in something not seen, both from a religious perspective and from an extra-sensory, otherworldly perspective. Talk a little bit about how those intertwine.
A: Yes. Well, we’ve got this interesting thing. We’ve got Scully, who’s a doctor, a scientist, and she’s also a Catholic, so she’s a religious person. So she’s got a built-in conflict. We’ve got Mulder, who believes in the paranormal, but is a non-religious person. So we’ve got these two sort of interesting characters with built-in conflicts.
Then, we’ve got a case that involves a man who may or may not be telling the truth, who’s a psychic. And these two people have to come at this story from two different angles and decide what they believe.
Q: Now, in between these two movies, what have you been doing to fill your time?
A: I took five years off. It was really one of the best things I could have ever done. I decided to do things I wouldn’t have done, [if I was] not taking those five years off, to think about things I wanted to think about. For me, it was ten years of hard work on the X-Files and other things, and so [for] 10 years of output, I wanted some input.
And so what I did was I set out to put myself into situations where I knew nothing. I became a pilot. I became a music student. I did a fellowship at an institute for theoretical physics. I did things that I think made me think and look at the world in a different way.
Q: And now are you back? Are you going to be back into it full-time?
A: If my wife has her choice, I won’t be back into it full-time, but yes, I’m happy to be back.