Night is falling in British Columbia. The air is damp and cold, and the buzz of a helicopter is fading into the distance. I am attempting to collect information on the set of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, but instead, to avoid being caught on camera, I am lying facedown in a muddy field. Yeah, I think to myself. This seems about right.
Full disclosure: I am an X-Phile. I am also a shipper — short for ”relationshipper,” online lingo for those who believe that the relationship between Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) should involve getting it on. Between 1993 and 2002, I logged unjustifiably long hours on the Internet discussing that and other aspects of Chris Carter‘s paranormal creation, and when the first X-Files movie grossed $84 million in 1998, at least $20 of it came from me. I begged a teaser poster off my local multiplex manager, sticking it in a plastic frame from Wal-Mart. The frame died years ago, but the poster — which reads, simply, FIGHT — still hangs on my office wall. There have been times, especially of late, when I’ve turned to it for inspiration.
The television series ended with Mulder and Scully driving toward an uncertain future. That uncertainty soon extended to the possibility of a second film, thanks to tired actors, the 10 million viewers who’d walked away by the show’s final season, and a 2005 profit-participation lawsuit Carter brought against Fox Television. But once the suit was settled, Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz began writing, and on July 14, 2007, David Duchovny told a roomful of unsuspecting journalists he’d most likely see a script the following week.
A few days later, I interview Duchovny for a profile, and my year of X-Files begins. ”There’s nothing you can tell me?” I ask. ”Not and feel that I was telling the truth, no,” he answers.
NEXT PAGE: When I visit the set in March, Duchovny fends me off with sarcasm (”No, the culture has shifted, and there’s no room for The X-Files because Lost is on everybody’s mind.”)