Fox Is Mulling Bringing Back This Paranoid Sci-Fi Classic

I want to believe.

By David Wharton | Updated

x-files fight the futureWe live in an era where we’re looking at the third potential Spider-Man reboot in less than 15 years, so it’s kind of astonishing that there are still hugely successful past properties that haven’t yet been rebooted. Fairly high on that list is The X-Files. It was one of the most popular and defining shows of the ’90s, a water-cooler hit in the early days of the Internet, and it’s been off the air since 2002. The X-Files would seem to be prime real estate that’s being left undeveloped, and there have been rumors about a reboot for years now. But is Fox actually any closer to reopening The X-Files? The answer is…maybe.

The truth about The X-Files’ future remains confused, inveigled, and obfuscated, but a representative for Fox has at least confirmed that fans aren’t the only ones thinking about the show’s future. Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this past weekend, Fox Television Group chairman Gary Newman was asked — certainly not for the first time — about The X-Files. He said, “It’s been reported, and it’s true, that we’ve had some conversations about [reviving] X-Files. But I have nothing that we can announce at this time.”

Of course, series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson haven’t been resting on their laurels in the years since The X-Files closed up shop. Duchovny just wrapped up a seven-year run on the Showtime comedy Californication, and is currently working on the upcoming NBC period crime drama Aquarius. Anderson has had a recurring role on NBC’s acclaimed Hannibal, and stars in the BBC series The Fall, which just returned for a second season. Fox chairman Dana Walden said:

We’ve maintained good relationships with [X-Files creator] Chris [Carter], David [Duchovny], and Gillian [Anderson]. We’re very hopeful, but it’s hard. The actors are very busy. They have a lot going on. Chris has a lot on his plate, so it’s just trying to carve out the time.

Buzz over a possible X-Files resurrection has been building over the past year, with series stars Duchovny and Anderson both having voiced their interest in further X-Files projects. But what would an X-Files reboot even look like at this point? Would it bring back Duchovny and Anderson in the form of a sequel, whether as a film or television series? Maybe it would introduce a new generation of FBI agents tasked with reopening the X-Files. Given how much of the show’s success can be attributed to the stellar casting and chemistry of its two leads, I wouldn’t think Fox would go with an outright retread without their involvement, but you never know.

Of course, aside from Duchovny and Anderson, there’s one more person that you would assume will be key in any new X-Files project: creator Chris Carter. Unlike his two leads, Carter has been mostly off the radar in recent years. After 2008’s underwhelming The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Carter had been running silent until he surfaced with an Amazon pilot called The After, which had the potential to be his big comeback show. Unfortunately, Amazon recently announced that they were bailing on the series. Carter is also developing an “Area 51” show for AMC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those “talks” the Fox reps cite have taken place in the days since The After entered the afterlife.

What say you? Would you like to see more X-Files, with or without Duchovny, Anderson, and Carter? Or should the show live on purely in its classic form?