WonderCon: "X-Files" Panel

Sun, February 24th, 2008 at 12:00am PST

TV/Film
Sam Arroyo, Contributing Writer

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Mulder and Scully checking for WonderCon news on "X-Files 2"
WonderCon was a buzz Saturday with the star power in attendance at many of its various panels and presentations. "X-Files" fans in particular were treated to a truly unique presentation by 20th Century Fox of the second X-Files movie. Director Chris Carter, Writer Frank Spotnitz and leads Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny all flew in from the still in production set in Vancouver to give fans a look at the upcoming feature film. The packed convention hall was full of rabid hooting and hollering X-Files fans all overjoyed to be in the house for this special Q&A. Before the cast was brought in, Fox treated fans to the first teaser trailer.

The scene is a snow covered field in the middle of nowhere with hundreds of FBI agents with sticks walking and poking into the ground. Rapper turned actor Xibit playing an FBI Agent calls out to the agents telling them to keep the line tight. A white haired man wildly walks in front of the agents looking for something. He keeps saying "It's here. I know it." The scene changes to images of bleeding eyed men and suspenseful looks at various people and agents scrambling. Then the snow covered field is shown again and we see Fox Mulder and Dana Scully behind the white haired man and they find something or someone encased in snow. More shots of random images are shown and then it cuts to "Coming July 25th 2008."

The crowd cheers wildly as the Director/Writer and cast are all introduced. Anderson and Duchovny were both overwhelmed by how enthusiastic the crowd was to be in their presence. With so many lined up for the Q&A, they opened up the mic immediately to field questions.

The moderator asked -- since it had been six years since the show ended and 10 since the first movie came out -- why this film would be worth the wait. Smiling coyly, Carter answered "It will scare the pants off you." Carter stated that you will get to see Mulder and Scully again in a whole new way in this film.

The first fan thanked the cast and told them she had been watching "X-Files" since she was 10 and asked if there are any plans for more movies. Carter sarcastically told the fan "right away."

The next fan asked if it was easy to go right back into their roles. Anderson said that she had a rough start and a bad 48 hours trying to be Scully again. Duchovny told Anderson to tell the fans which scenes sucked. The crowd roared with laughter. Duchovny went on to explain how nice it was to come back, working with all these people again.

Duchovny was then asked if he would be writing or directing anything in the near future. He said he loved directing and writing and if anyone was stupid enough to give him the money, he is all for it.

Anderson was asked if she had to think her way back into the roll or if it was automatic. Anderson said that it was two different things, intuitively it was something she tried to do again, but her brain would automatically tell her to stop trying to play Scully and just be Scully again. Duchovny added "I just say the words."

The moderator asked Carter and Spotnitz how hard it was to put pen to paper and write these characters again. Spotnitz said he was surprised how he reconnected wit the characters and felt it was missing people he found again and it was a nice surprise. Carter added it was like no time had passed at all. He asked the crowd if they liked the trailer to which the crowd roared with approval. "Just wanted to make sure," Carter joked.

The Truth might be at the end of this hallway.
A fan asked if Mark Snow was going to score the film and how Carter felt about the first episode of the spin-off show "The Lone Gunman" with the airliner and twin towers that eerily foreshadowed the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Carter said he wasn't going to touch that one and asked Spotnitz to help answer since he had more to do with that series. Spotnitz said that Mark Snow would score the film. Then he said when he woke up on 9/11 and saw what had happened, he asked himself if his episode maybe inspired the events. He was relieved to find out the plot existed long before his writing and he also didn't understand if it could be thought up, why our government could foresee it and why they were not prepared. Frank added it's been the subject of many online conspiracy websites.

The next fan asked about the significance of the religious undertones in the "X-Files" TV series. Carter explained how he always felt the "X-Files" was like a search for the existence of God. "It was a big part of the inspiration, but no one religion was the focus." He stated that he always felt that Fox Mulder's poster in his office said it best -- "I Want To Believe."

Another fan asked what was the most difficult scene to film in the movie? Anderson answered the movie is not done filming. David added he thought the Scully/Mulder scenes were hard because he tried to put so much weight into them emotionally. Anderson seconded that and added "My first 48 hours."

The next question was about Elizabeth Rosner's "Speed of Light," a book Anderson has optioned and is planning to direct. Anderson told the fan it's a work in progress and it will get there, she promised.

The moderator then asked Carter about the other actors in the upcoming film, who else aside from Xibit would be in the cast and what brought them to the X-Files? Carter told him that Amanda Peet would be playing an FBI Agent named Dakota Whitney and Billy Connely would be playing a man with very long hair.

The cast was then asked, since the X-Files uses many classic sci-fi/horror trappings like vampires or Prometheus, if there were any personal narratives in the film and if there was something that they might want to try out in this film that was not done on the show. Duchovny said this film seemed to be a bit of Dorian Grey then looked at Chris Carter and added "No, not that way." Anderson said she thought Mulder should try auto erotic asphyxiation it might be a good thing for Mulder. Carter said he had a list of ideas of things he wanted to do and he felt the show ended at the right time. He feels the country had a shift after 9/11 and now the appetite is right for the movie.

A fan asked if the film would be a self contained "Monster of the Week" or if it would have some of the mythology. Carter said it might have elements of that, but he just wanted to make a great film that would stand the test and just be a great movie.

The next fan told Anderson her favorite episode was one directed by the actress, to which Anderson responded that she was so thrilled and loved directing it and enjoyed it tremendously and she wanted to do it again.

Duchovny and Anderson were asked their favorite episodes and Anderson mentioned "Bad Blood," which found the agents telling their side of the story separately concerning the shooting of a man who was thought to be a vampire. Anderson felt it was an episode that was shot at such a great time that she really loved the premise. Duchovny added "Bad Blood" is the episode Anderson won't ever stop talking about.

When asked how the new film came about, Carter said it was because Anderson and Duchovny were really interested in coming back to the X-Files. Fox then came back to the group and said it's now or never.

A fan asked what the new film has to offer in FBI tactics and technology, since other shows like "CSI" use a lot of those elements in their storytelling. David explained how the story telling in the X-Files was more sophisticated because the story telling was about the battle of Scully's point of view and Mulder's point of view. Duchovny feels you watch "The X-Files" for the drama of solving the case with intellect, not bullets going through pieces of meat.

A fan asked if the character Krycek would be in the film. Carter didn't want to give away any secrets, but assured the fans no one in the X-Files stays dead.

Finally one cheeky fan asked Anderson and Duchovny what it was like to work with one of the greatest actors of all time -- Homer Simpson. Duchonvy laughed and said they voiced "The Simpsons" episode apart from the cast and then two years later it was aired. "Homer gave me nothing," joked Duchovny.

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