From 1993 to 2018, The X-Files had eleven seasons of television and two movies. But even with 25 years of content, the world of The X-Files isn’t over just yet, as the franchise is coming back in animated form.
The project, which was announced in August on TVLine, is called The X-Files: Albuquerque, and while The X-Files series creator Chris Carter is returning solely as executive producer, the series won’t feature David Duchovny’s Mulder or Gillian Anderson’s Scully. Instead, as TVLine states, The X-Files: Albuquerque will follow an office of misfit agents who look into the cases too weird for Mulder and Scully.
Like The X-Files original run and the reboot/sequel series, The X-Files: Albuquerque is being developed for Fox. Theoretically, it seems likely that Fox would place this new series on Sunday nights, alongside its other animated series like The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy.
The series pilot is being written by Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko, who have a history in animation with Comedy Central’s Brickleberry, and Netflix’s Paradise PD. Both Russo and Sosenko will be executive producers alongside Chris Carter and former X-Files writer Gabe Rotter.
When interviewed at the end of The X-Files’ eleventh season back in 2018, Chris Carter said, “I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be more X-Files, in some shape or form. I think there are lots more stories to tell and ways to tell them. I’m leaving this as a giant cliffhanger.”
While production on most live-action series has slowed or halted altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic, animation has thrived. Shows like black-ish, One Day at a Time, and The Blacklist have all recently had animated episodes to cope with the changes in production. With animation an easy way to continue production in a safe way, it’ll be interesting to see if more shows will try bringing their shows to the animated world in the future, or if we’ll see animated versions of other shows like The X-Files.
Meanwhile, shows like Rick and Morty are actually on schedule, with the show’s creator Dan Harmon stating that they’re “more on schedule than we’ve ever been.” With animators working from home and show’s creators having to run their shows remotely for safety reasons, it seems as though The X-Files: Albuquerque might be one of many shows in an upcoming animation boom.
Ever since its premiere in 1993, The X-Files has remained a part of pop culture. The original run of the show ran for nine seasons, from 1993 to 2002, where in its fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons, it was one of the most-watched shows on television. In 1998, the series received its first film, The X-Files, which earned $189 million worldwide. A decade later, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson would return as Mulder and Scully for 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which was considerably less popular, making only $69 million.
The X-Files returned for a limited series reboot in 2016, which debuted with strong viewership, yet when the series returned for an eleventh season in 2018, the audience had already started to dwindle. But this new spin on The X-Files could certainly bring back interest in the series for all those that choose to believe the series is far from over.