Gillian Anderson, while promoting her new film Johnny English Reborn (oh, Gillian…) in Sydney Australia, was asked about a third X-Files movie, as is every interviewer’s wont to do (especially those who host “breakfast TV programs”). Apparently, Anderson was as dissatisfied as the rest of planet Earth with X-Files: I Want To Believe, as she answered with a barely matter-of-fact, “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.”
Considering that it took 10 years to make one X-Files film sequel that no one asked for, and coupled with its the critical and box office failures, it seems dubious and highly unlikely that another X-Files movie would ever actually get made (much less whether it should get made). The idea of original series creator Chris Carter convincing anyone to let him have another shot at failing to bring Mulder and Scully to cinematic life seems unfathomable. But then, I felt similarly about I Want To Believe before it was made, too.
However, the first movie and most of the show’s run was still held in fairly high esteem at the time of X-Files: Not Fight The Future, in those heady days of pre-economic collapse. And, while not a groundswell, the (ugh, I’ve learned to hate this word) franchise still had its supporters. But X-Files: Fight the Future was not merely shrugged at by critics like its successor when it was released, and most of those diehard fans who used to call themselves “X-Philes” during the series’ shippertastic AOL forum heydays of which I was (shameless/fully) a part - seriously, for intelligent people, pop culture geeks love their bad puns - were left scratching their heads at the Monster of the Week schlock they were forced to swallow in 2008. That isolated, macabre plot was in direct opposition to the culmination of the truth behind the alien invasion storyline many thought must finally be out there in Billy Connolly’s snow. After all, alien abductions/invasions was the series’ reason for being.
Plus, that movie is just a slog even without dashed expectations. Add in the last two seasons of the Fox television show, and the whole “X-Files” mythology just leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Like a Jack and Coke that’s been left out in the sun for 24 hours. For a series and characters that were such a big part of the mid-90s zeitgeist, the thought of another X-Files movie in 2012, or beyond, just makes one ask, Oh, why bother? I ask that, anyway. I mean, I’m asking that right now. Why bother with the X-Files?
For her part, Anderson is merely an actor responding to an awkward question about a situation and circumstances that she has absolutely no control over. Asking her or David Duchovny or Mitch “Skinner” Pileggi what they think of another film is like asking a professional athlete about being traded to a rival team. The smart ones who play the media game never say anything to burn their pile of money, and Gillian Anderson is nothing if not smart.
Still, Anderson did admit to having an idea for a future filmic X-Files. No, not the third one, but the fourth (oh, Gillian…): “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 get to do a spoof feature.” Hell, as long as aliens are in it, an X-Files parody wouldn’t be the absolute nadir of the series. And, despite having some very funny episodes, that’s just sad.