The Future of The X-Files

The X-Files was one of the best television series of the 1990s, but its two movie adaptations (The X-Files: Fight the Future in 1998 and The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008) were lackluster and forgettable.  Apparently, 20th Century Fox hasn't given up on the franchise and is planning yet another film.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, actress Gillian Anderson, who will forever be remembered as Agent Scully, said of a third motion picture featuring the FBI investigators who confront paranormal cases, "I hope it will happen. There's talk of it. I don't know who's writing it, but I hear there's something going on."

The previous motion pictures had a few moments of goodness, but failed to capture the thrills and chills of the original series. Maybe the third time will be the charm. I would like to see Anderson reunite once again with David Duchovny who immortalized the great Agent Mulder, and the rest of the crew, Mitch Pileggi as Skinner, William B. Davis as Cigarette-Smoking Man, Steven Williams as Mr. X, Nicholas Lea as Alex Krycek, Annabeth Gish as Monica Reyes, and even Robert Patrick as Agent Doggett. Cameos by the Lone Gunmen and other beloved characters from the TV series would be welcome too.

Something else that Anderson said gave me pause: "I've always wanted to do a spoof of The X-Files as a film.  We talked about that for a long time, but maybe after three features we could do a spoof feature." 

The X-Files have already been spoofed plenty of times (The Simpsons episode is the greatest example), so if the franchise continues, I would hope to see a serious attempt at a decent story first.  They can have humor, which some of the TV show's best episodes certainly did, but the writers should tackle some thought-provoking subjects first before throwing in the towel and mocking the original.

The premise of The X-Files seems to be as timely as ever.  The idea of skepticism in a world full of paranoia and conspiracy theories seems to be ripe with storytelling possibilities.  If they want to milk the franchise for all it's worth, they should try to translate what worked so well on the small screen first, instead of giving up.  The Truth is still out there.

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