EatTheCorn’s interview database

Welcome to EatTheCorn’s interview database!

This is part of the website EatTheCorn.com.

Here you will find an archive of interviews of Ten Thirteen cast and crew. This is a work in progress and will continue to be so until all interviews have been archived! New material is added constantly.

This is how many interviews are archived so far in this database, by year, from the birth of Ten Thirteen to today:

1993 (11)
1994 (15)
1995 (14)
1996 (21)
1997 (9)
1998 (59)
1999 (52)
2000 (71)
2001 (49)
2002 (65)
2003 (2)
2004 (4)
2005 (1)
2007 (2)
2008 (34)
2009 (8)
2010 (10)
2011 (15)
2012 (32)
2013 (10)

This is a collaborative project for the entire Ten Thirteen fandom!

You can use this post for general comments.

Writers Guild of America: 101 Best Written TV Series – The X-Files

Jun-02-2013
101 Best Written TV Series – The X-Files
Writers Guild of America

[Original article here]


26. THE X-FILES

Created by Chris Carter

READ A LIST OF THE SHOW’S CREDITED WRITERS

Aired: FOX, 1993-2002

Fox’s signature drama for most of the ’90s, The X-Files, created by Chris Carter, was one of primetime television’s all-time great hit science-fiction series, although to call it sci-fi is requires qualifying that it delved into the paranormal and the conspiratorial. Those tones were leavened by the relationship between FBI partners Scully and Mulder, he the dreamer and she the left-brain skeptic; their dynamic gave the show a human, big-tent appeal. “As early as the third or fourth season,” recalled Frank Spotnitz, the show’s exec producer and Carter’s frequent collaborator, to the WGAW Web site, “we started to realize that there were some audiences that knew every detail of the ongoing alien mythology storyline and were waiting for very specific questions to be answered and then there was a much larger audience that was vaguely aware of it and would be lost if you tried to answer these very specific questions. That was a balancing act we were engaged in for most of the life of the series.”

Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz on their creative process and the longevity of The X-Files

BACK TO LIST

TVWise: New Details Emerge On GVTV’s ‘The After’ From ‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter

May-26-2013
New Details Emerge On GVTV’s ‘The After’ From ‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter
TVWise
Patrick Munn

[Original article here]

New details have emerged on Georgeville Television’s drama series The After, which hails from The X-Files creator Chris Carter.

When the project was announced last October, GVTV offered only a vague description for the series which described the series as “a thriller that tells the story of an unexplained event and features elements of science-fiction, suspense, action and paranoia.” The series doesn’t yet have a broadcaster attached with GVTV and distributor Sierra/Engine targeting the series for either cable or a broadcast run of 13 episodes. That said, however, Sierra/Engine Television shopped the series to international buyers at MIPCOM 2012 and the more recent MIPTV 2013.

According to a number of potential buyers who heard the pitch for the series, The After is in fact a thriller set in Los Angeles which explores the coming apocalypse. I hear that the drama begins after a strange event strikes the Earth. There is no government statement on this event and it is shrouded in secrecy and will ultimately lead to a far greater cataclysmic event. The series will follow a core group of characters who try to discover just what has happened and why, while also doing what they must to survive. One source described it as a combination of The X-Files and Falling Skies. “It’s a mystery series set right at the end of the world”, one source tells me. I also understand that, as one would expect with a genre show such as this, The After will be largely serialised and utilise season long story arcs.

Los Angeles Times Hero Complex: ‘The X-Files’ at 20: Chris Carter still wants to believe

May-13-2013
‘The X-Files’ at 20: Chris Carter still wants to believe
Los Angeles Times Hero Complex
Blake Hennon

[Original article here]

It’s been 20 years since “The X-Files” opened to viewers’ wanting-to-believe eyes, and the hit paranormal investigation drama’s creator, Chris Carter, doesn’t quite know what to make of that phenomenon.

“It’s surreal,” he told a sold-out crowd Sunday at the Hero Complex Film Festival shortly after entering to a standing ovation. “It’s like an X-File…. Twenty years’ missing time.”

Asked what he might do differently if he made the show now, he said, “It was of its time…. You probably could make the show today, but, I don’t know why, it just feels like it was made exactly when it should have been made.”

The festival’s closing night was devoted to the acclaimed Fox series, and included screenings of three fan-picked episodes – the pilot, which he wrote, “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” and “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.”

Carter said the pilot scene in which FBI special agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a skeptical scientist, first meets her new partner, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), a crusading believer in aliens and conspiracy, wasn’t just their introduction as a duo to the audience, but to him as well: “That’s the first time they really acted together. They didn’t audition together for the parts. We really cast them separately, so we didn’t know there’d be that chemistry. What you were watching was really a kind of test, and it ended up working.”

“Working” might be an understatement: Scully and Mulder’s chemistry quickly became a pop cultural fixation, with rampant will-they-won’t-they speculation.

During the series’ 1993-2002 run, Carter thought they wouldn’t, though he and the writing staff had some fun with fans’ expectations.

“We actually snuck in a lot of kisses, like secretly, like sneaky dream sequences and stuff where they get together. I knew they should never be together. It was wrong.”

His thinking changed, however, when it was time to make the second feature film spun off from the series, 2008’s “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” In it, viewers saw that Mulder and Scully had finally become a couple. So why bring them together after all those years?

“You couldn’t keep it up any longer,” he explained. “It was ridiculous.”

Carter had a surprise for the fans, bringing out two of the show’s most popular writers, brothers Glen and Darin Morgan, the latter of whom wrote “Jose Chung” and “Clyde Bruckman.”

Glen Morgan, who noted it was his brother’s birthday, recalled being sent the script for “Clyde Bruckman” and, reading the lines for guest star Peter Boyle’s psychic-vision-haunted titular character, realizing, “Oh my God, this is our dad.” Then, clarifying to audience laughter, “He couldn’t predict when people die or anything …”

That episode, for which Boyle and Darin Morgan won Emmys, and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” – which Carter called “still such an improbable episode for any TV show” – broadened the series’ stylistic scope by mixing in more humor with the series’ usual science-fiction and horror elements.

“That was the amazing thing to me,” Carter said. “That it could be so many different things.”

Darin Morgan said he appreciated now more than he did then the risks Carter was willing to take on unusual material.

“I’ve had so many situations since ‘The X-Files’ where producers said, ‘I don’t get this,’” the writer said. “People are so unwilling to take a chance on another person. That was so rare. Thanks, Chris.”

There was, of course, one question on every audience member’s mind: Will there be another movie?

“That’s a good question,” Carter said.

Gently prodded to answer, he replied, “The truth is out there.”

The fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival was hosted by Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. It began Friday with a John Carpenter double feature and feisty Q&A. Saturday afternoon brought a screening of “The Mist” and a discussion  of that film’s shocking ending with writer-director Frank Darabont and surprise guest Thomas Jane. Saturday night belonged to Guillermo del Toro, who shared an exclusive preview of his upcoming “Pacific Rim” and gave lively responses to questions between showings of “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” On Sunday afternoon, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin discussed “Independence Day” sequel possibilities after a screening of that film, and were joined by surprise guest Jeff Goldblum.

Check back in the coming days for videos of discussions with the festival’s special guests.

Vulture: In Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad

May-12-2013
In Conversation: Vince Gilligan on the End of Breaking Bad
Vulture
Jennifer Vineyard

[Original here]

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Knee-deep in edits for the final season of Breaking Bad, which premieres in August, the creator of television’s darkest drama talks with Lane Brown about violence as entertainment, the incredible pressure of bringing a beloved serial to an end, and what it feels like to have Dzhokar Tsarnaev as a fan.

How close to the finish line are you?
We’re very close—the shooting was finished April 3, and yesterday we finished editing our second episode of the final eight.

Are you happy?
I feel very happy. There was a great passage of time in the writers’ room where we were a little nervous about the outcome. Well, I shouldn’t speak for them: I was nervous.

In interviews last summer you still weren’t sure how Breaking Bad was going to end. Was this just a matter of specifics? Or had you still not decided whether Walt was going to live, die, or go to prison?
It was everything. We knew very little as of last summer. We knew we had an M60 machine gun in Walt’s trunk that we needed to pay off, and that was about it. We kept asking ourselves, “What would satisfy us? A happy ending? A sad ending? Or somewhere in between?”

You also seemed worried about ending the show badly. If you did end it badly, how would you know?
There are two ways of knowing if something ends badly: If you’re honest with yourself, you just kind of know it. And then there’s other people’s reaction to it. Right now, I am very proud of the final eight episodes. But we could put them on the air in a few months and people could say, “Oh my God. That was the worst ending of a TV series ever.” So then you’re left with that horrible incongruity for the rest of your life. You either think everyone was right, or you start to think, “I’m like the Omega Man. I’m the only one who sees it the correct way and everybody else missed the point.”

Is there too much pressure on a series finale now? Since TV dramas became more serialized and less episodic, and especially since Lost and The Sopranos disappointed everybody, the last few minutes of a show can completely change the way we think about the 60 hours that came first. By contrast, I loved The X-Files, the last big show you wrote for, but I can barely remember how it ended.
There was certainly a lot of self-applied pressure. I second-guessed myself. I was much more neurotic than I usually am, and that’s saying a lot. And there is a different pressure on ending a serialized show versus a non-serialized show. The X-Files is a good example in that it was mostly comprised of stand-alone episodes. But when a show feels like more of a character study, there’s more of an expectation that it will end in a correct and satisfying manner.

And viewers are more sophisticated than ever about storytelling now. TV recappers have made a sport of poking holes in plot work—you have to lay the groundwork for every twist or they’ll hang you. If you were ending Breaking Bad fifteen years ago, you probably could have gotten away with telling us that Walt and Hank had been the same person all along.
Oh, no. At this point, you can parenthetically insert “Gilligan goes pale.”

It helps that I’m not reading what folks are saying online. If I did, there’d be a lot of stuff I’d roll my eyes at, and stuff where I’d say, “Oh shit, we should’ve thought of that.” But the best thing to do, as a showrunner, is to please yourself. It could mean coming up with something that no one will guess. It could mean coming up with the obvious yet satisfying moment. I’m not saying what you’re going to get, but it’s probably going to be a mix of the two. There are things in these last eight episodes that are going to surprise people. There are also things where people will say, “I kind of saw that coming.” But maybe the obvious choice is the right one sometimes.

With shows about difficult-to-like anti-heroes like Walter White, Tony Soprano, or Don Draper, the ending feels extra-­important. The finale is when you, the showrunner, render a final verdict on the character and tell us whether your show is in a moral universe where bad people get punished. So, how vengeful a god are you?
I hope that if I were a god, I wouldn’t be a particularly vengeful one. I’ve realized that judging the character is not a particularly fruitful endeavor on my part, and yet I have done that. I’ve lost sympathy for Walter White, personally. Not thinking, I’ve said to Bryan Cranston things like “Walt is such a bastard. He’s such a shit.” Then I realized this might color his perception of the man he’s playing, so I found myself biting my tongue the last six months or so. And my perceptions of Walt have changed in these final eight ­episodes—I didn’t think that was going to happen.

But this is not a show about evil for evil’s sake. Walt has behaved at times in what could be regarded as an evil fashion, but I don’t think he’s an evil man. He is an extremely self-deluded man. We always say in the writers’ room, if Walter White has a true superpower, it’s not his knowledge of chemistry or his intellect, it’s his ability to lie to himself. He is the world’s greatest liar. He could lie to the pope. He could lie to Mother Teresa. He certainly could lie to his family, and he can lie to himself, and he can make these lies stick. He can make himself believe, in the face of all contrary evidence, that he is still a good man. It really does feel to us like a natural progression down this road to hell, which was originally paved with good intentions.

Why do you think audiences are so enamored of bad guys right now? It’s not just on TV—superheroes are being rewritten as dark, flawed characters.
Our viewing tastes are cyclical. Five years from now, a person like yourself might be asking, “You remember when everybody used to like antiheroes? Now they like the guy in the white hat again. How did that happen? What’s changed in America?” People want what they want, for as long as they want it, then tastes change and something else works. For many decades—and this was reinforced by the broadcast networks’ standards-and-practices department—bad guys on TV had to get their comeuppance, and good guys had to be brave and true and unconflicted. Those were the laws of the business. But people’s tastes are fickle, and now that producers of TV shows can be more nuanced than that, audiences are along for the ride.

Are there any honest-to-God nice characters on TV that you still find interesting?
SpongeBob SquarePants
is a great show, and it centers on a character that is courageously nice. Why is SpongeBob interesting? It’s because he has passion. He has a passion for chasing jellyfish. I’m very glad people love Breaking Bad, but the harder character to write is the good character that’s as interesting and as engaging as the bad guy. My hat is off to the SpongeBob showrunners. It’s like how Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backward and in high heels. That’s kind of the struggle you face when you’re writing the good guy now instead of a bad guy.

Bryan Cranston and Gilligan on set in 2011.

Your original pitch for Breaking Bad was that you were going to turn Mr. Chips into Scarface over five seasons. Have you ever felt trapped by that promise?
No. It’s one of the most inadvertently smart things I’ve ever done. I’m not typically that forward-thinking. But the thing that intrigued me about Breaking Bad from day one was the idea of taking a character and transforming him. TV is designed to keep characters in place for years on end. The best example is M*A*S*H: You have a three-year police action in Korea, and they stretched that out to eleven seasons. It was a great show, but when you think about it, a weird unreality overtakes a television series. You see the actors age, and yet the characters don’t. I thought, Wouldn’t it be interesting to do a show in which the character became a slightly different character? We’ve abided by that for five seasons, and I’ve never felt the slightest bit hemmed in. I think that viewers knowing in advance that they were going to get a free-form character that was always in the process of metamorphosis allowed them to be free-form in their expectations.

In this post-Lost world, it seems like the worst sin a TV showrunner can commit is not knowing where his or her show is headed. Telling us there was a basic blueprint probably made it possible for you to say that you didn’t know exactly how the show would end and not get pilloried for it on the Internet. It’s a little like how Game of Thrones can kill its main character in the first season and not make fans think the show’s gone off the rails, because there’s the road map of the book series.  
The Walking Dead
is another good example—there’s source material for it. The question arises every week: Are they going to stick with what I know, or are they going take another path? So there are those dueling pleasures of “I can’t wait to see something I’ve already read visualized” and “It’s going in a different direction.”

Based on what you know about AMC, do you think it would ever let Rick Grimes lose his hands on The Walking Dead, like he does in the comics?
Does that happen? I’m not up to speed. You ruined it for me!

Sorry.
There are certain realities to making a TV show, and there are the actor’s feelings to consider. If I were the star of a TV show and they came to me and said, “Hey, the comic-book version of this is that you lose your hands,” I’d be like, “Screw that. I need them to act, man. What am I going to do, wear green gloves and you’re going to erase them for the rest of the time I’m on this thing?” It sounds like a big pain in the ass.

You’re in a small club: creators of serialized TV dramas who have elevated the form to art and sustained themselves for five or six seasons—Matthew Weiner, David Chase, David Simon. What do you have in common with those guys?
I know Matt Weiner a fair bit, but I’ve never met David Chase. I guess the short answer is that we all know what we want and we strive hard to get it. I’ve always had a fairly clear picture of who Walter White was, and I’ve got to imagine Matt Weiner knows Don Draper inside and out, as if he’s looking through Don’s eyes.

The other guys all have reputations for being grouchy and difficult. You seem like a nice guy.
I’m putting it on for this interview. I’m pretty dark, as you can guess from watching Breaking Bad. I’ve had my moments where I’ve blown up, but I always feel foolish afterward, like I’ve failed somehow—which doesn’t mean I won’t turn around and do it again next week. But this job is so hard. To work this hard and not be actively endeavoring to cure cancer feels like, What the hell’s the point? Most days, it’s just easier to be nice to people, and it bears more fruit, even if I’m not feeling like it.

Why do you think TV’s been so good over the past decade and a half?
The difference now is that writers are allowed to get away with more. We’re allowed to go darker. Thank God we don’t have what they had in the fifties, which was a sponsor reading all the scripts and saying, “I don’t think this character should be black.” But we could very easily have that situation again, because TV commercials get skipped over on TiVo. Ad agencies could once again take over sponsorship of individual series, and suddenly writers will be answering to them all over again.

But the best thing about cable TV is not the ability to say the F-word or show boobs or extreme violence. It’s the idea that a series lasts for thirteen episodes a season rather than 24. It’s amazing the quality of good work that happened in the fifties when a series would have to turn out 30-some episodes a season—it’s amazing that I Love Lucy was as good as it was! Or The Honeymooners. On Breaking Bad, I get to sit and spend three or four weeks an episode, breaking an episode and taking it apart, before a single word is written. That preproduction time is everything, and cable TV allows for that in a way that network TV can’t.

You seem enormously grateful to AMC and Sony for their support. Have you ever fallen out over anything?
We fight over money—or rather, I apologize for the overages that I incur and they yell at me. But I can point to a good standoff that I lost. We had an executive at AMC, a woman named Christina Wayne, who said I used too much music in my first cut of the pilot episode—I had just brought my iPod into the editing room. This executive said, “Don’t you trust your material? Do you think you need music to sell it?” I got so bent out of shape that I wrote an e-mail to her boss, which I really regret, trying to get her in trouble with him. But in hindsight, she was in the right, and if you watch Breaking Bad now, there’s more silence than music. Show writers can be wrong just as often as anybody else, and if enough people tell you that you’re drunk—or if one really, really smart person tells you you’re drunk—you need to sit down.

One of the criticisms of Breaking Bad that keeps coming up is over the female characters. Skyler White is seen by some as this henpecking woman who stands in the way of all of Walt’s fun.
Man, I don’t see it that way at all. We’ve been at events and had all our actors up onstage, and people ask Anna Gunn, “Why is your character such a bitch?” And with the risk of painting with too broad a brush, I think the people who have these issues with the wives being too bitchy on Breaking Bad are misogynists, plain and simple. I like Skyler a little less now that she’s succumbed to Walt’s machinations, but in the early days she was the voice of morality on the show. She was the one telling him, “You can’t cook crystal meth.” She’s got a tough job being married to this asshole. And this, by the way, is why I should avoid the Internet at all costs. People are griping about Skyler White being too much of a killjoy to her meth-cooking, murdering husband? She’s telling him not to be a murderer and a guy who cooks drugs for kids. How could you have a problem with that?

We’re talking now just a few days after the Boston Marathon bombings, and I’m sure you’ve been watching the news. Did you see that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had tweeted that he was a Breaking Bad fan?
No. Jesus.

He also tweeted, “Breaking Bad taught me how to dispose of a corpse.”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Oh, Jesus Christ. No, I did not know that.

Yours is a dark show on which fictional people do terrible things—how much do you worry about inspiring real-life lunatics?
Maybe I don’t worry as much as I should. Jesus. I co-wrote the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen, which was a spinoff of The X-Files; in it, there was a plot to fly 767s into the World Trade Center. That was about six months before 9/11. I remember when that day came, watching CNN just like everyone else in America, just absolutely horrified, stunned into disbelief. I turned on the TV, and I’m looking at the smoke, and I’m like, Wait a minute. We wrote this. I have no evidence that any of those assholes that did that on 9/11 had ever seen the show. Not that many people had actually seen the show. But you have those moments. Hopefully, it doesn’t need to be said that you don’t want to inspire evil and madness and hatred in any way, shape, or form. It’s not going to stop me from writing. It’s not going to paralyze me. But those moments give you pause.

Have you ever worried that one of Breaking Bad’s violent moments might have gone too far?
The scene I had trouble watching in the editing room—I would actually avert my own eyes—was when Victor gets his throat slit with a box cutter. I found that agonizing to watch. Again, hopefully it goes without saying that moments like that are meant to do the opposite of make violence look attractive or sexy. They are meant to unsettle and upset. People could argue, and I would not argue back, that Breaking Bad is oftentimes too violent. But the only thing that would really trouble me is if anyone said Breaking Bad sells violence in an attractive fashion, like something for young men to strive for. That would hurt, but I don’t think we do that.

Do you think there’s ever a moral imperative to pull back on the violence?
I don’t think there should be any kind of edict or mandate imposed by anyone else. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a writer in my position to know where to draw the line him- or
herself. It’s up to the writer to know the difference between a dark story that is basically instructive and a cautionary tale.

Breaking Bad does seems to be responsible, or at least realistic, in the way it uses guns. On the show, guns are jamming all the time, and characters get killed by their own weapons. When Walt buys a gun, the dealer lectures him on how ineffective it’ll be in a high-pressure situation.
I’m a gun owner, and I grew up in the South. Guns are ingenious mechanisms, the product of many thousands of hours of brilliant engineering. You can ascribe to them evil or good. I’ve never hunted, but I find target shooting very relaxing. But it goes without saying guns shouldn’t be used to murder innocent schoolkids. I’m not anti-gun. I’m not anti–claw hammer either. But I am against having them in the hands of lunatics.

Children are always under threat on Breaking Bad, which makes me wonder: Did you rethink anything that happens in these final episodes after the Newtown school shooting?
No. But Newtown was so fucking horrible. It’s been such a bad few months. You’re watching the news, and you see the Kardashians, and you’re like, Is this the best news people can give us? And then you have a week like this one [with the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent manhunt], and you’re like, Bring back the Kardashians!

How do you identify yourself politically?
I’m not real comfortable talking about politics. I’m probably more conservative than most folks in the business. But the best way I can put it to you is, here at age 46, I am less interested in politics than I’ve ever been in my life. Politics don’t serve a lot of good. I’m not talking about government—government serves a lot of good. But politics don’t seem to be reaping a lot of positive benefits these days.

What do you think of the drug laws in the U.S.?
I understand why a drug like meth would be illegal, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our laws. Our country is run by good people, more or less, who want the best for their own families, but as with most things that pass through the filter of politics, things get messed up. The idea of keeping illegal drugs out of the hands of little kids is a sound idea. But I don’t pretend to have any answers about how things could suddenly, instantly, magically be better overnight.

How did you settle on meth as the central drug in the show? It’s obviously not the sexiest drug.
I was on a phone call in 2004 with Tom Schnauz, who was a writer with me on The X-Files. We’ve known each other since NYU back in the eighties. He had read a New York Times article about a meth lab somewhere that was getting a bunch of neighborhood kids sick. We were trying to figure out what we were going to do next, because The X-Files had just ended and writing jobs were few and far between. “Should we be greeters at Walmart? Should we put a meth lab in the back of an RV?” It was in the midst of joking around that this idea struck home: What would an otherwise law-abiding person be doing in a meth lab in the back of an RV? That was the eureka moment for me.

And meth makes perfect sense, story-wise, for Breaking Bad. Unlike marijuana or cocaine, it’s a completely synthesized drug that needs a chemist and not a farmer to make. I liked the idea of Walt being good at chemistry and having a unique set of skills that would allow him to cook the best meth available. And it’s also just a nasty, terrible drug that destroys people and whole communities.

How did you choose Albuquerque as the setting? The Southwest is the fastest-growing part of the U.S., but it’s not often portrayed in entertainment.
It was a wonderful happenstance, but it was borne strictly of economics. Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico have been very welcoming in a way that California has not. In the first script, Breaking Bad was set in Southern California, in Riverside. During preproduction, Sony said, “What do you think about shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico? We’ll get a 25 percent rebate on monies spent within the state.” I thought, You know what? More money on the screen. How can you turn that down? They said, “It’ll be great. All you’ll do is replace the license plates and call it California.” I said, “No, then we’d be shooting in a town where we can never look east.” We’d always have to be avoiding the Sandia Mountains! So we changed the setting to New Mexico.

Is there any product placement on Breaking Bad?
Chrysler has been great to us. Walt bought Junior a Dodge Challenger. Walt does doughnuts and then he lights the thing on fire and he blows it up. I was amazed they let us do that. Talk about product misuse.

But some of the moments that seem like overt product placement were not. We gave free ad time to Funyuns. We used Denny’s a couple of times, and Denny’s never paid us a dime. I think we had to pay for the privilege. I just love the idea of Denny’s as a place Walt and Jesse would go after having watched a guy get his throat slit. They put him in a barrel and dissolve him with acid, then they say, “Hey, let’s go to Denny’s. We’ll get a Grand Slam.” Chili’s and the Olive Garden turned us down, by the way.

What’s your obsession with fast food? There’s Gus’s chicken restaurant on Breaking Bad, and there’s Home Fries, the 1998 Drew Barrymore–Luke Wilson movie that you wrote, which was set in a burger place.
I spent a lot of time in fast-food restaurants as a kid. God, I remember the first McDonald’s in the little town where I grew up, Farmville, Virginia. When I was about 10 years old, the first McDonald’s went up, and that was like the biggest treat in the world. So I don’t know, maybe it hearkens back to that. I’m not as enamored of it now. I’ve been able to eat at the French Laundry since then, so McDonald’s has kind of paled.

In this issue, our TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz argues that TV has become a director’s medium.
I disagree. There’s a perfectly good medium for directors, and it’s called film. TV is a writer’s medium. I am chauvinistic toward writing because that’s where I came from. And when executives get excited about getting a superstar movie director to direct the pilot of a new TV show, I think to myself, That’s all well and good, but what happens after that? That superstar director goes away, and you’ve still got 100 hours to fill. Who’s the first person on the ground making those 100 hours happen? It’s invariably the writer.

Have shows like yours changed the mission of movies, do you think? A two-hour movie can’t explore a character’s psychology nearly as well as a six-hour TV series. With movies like Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty, you’re seeing more procedurals that dispense with backstory altogether, presumably because they can’t do the job as well.
I love movies, and I love TV. In TV, you have the time to get deeper into a character, but movies are a two-hour block of time in which we get transported to another place. We’ll always have Paris, and we’ll always have movies. But we’re going through a time, unfortunately, when the big movie studios are run by folks that are more obsessed than ever with the bottom line and who probably love movies less than any studio hierarchy that’s ever existed in my life. Back in the day, when the Irving Thalbergs and Louis B. Mayers ran the business, those guys could bite your head off. Those guys were tough sons of bitches, but they loved movies. They weren’t obsessed with counting beans. The problem with the movie business now is that it’s marketing-driven—driven by demographics, by spreadsheets and flowcharts and all this shit that has nothing to do with storytelling. But the movie itself, the structure of the movie, will always be with us. And occasionally a really great movie for grown-ups does sneak through.

It seems like it’s harder to get a green light for a smart movie than to actually make one.
I learned a great lesson from Michael Mann years ago. I was working on a script for him that became Hancock. It was a rewrite I was doing of someone else’s script, and I said to Michael in one of the first meetings, “What is this about? What’s the theme of it? What do we want to impart to the audience on a subconscious level?” He just looked at me kind of blankly and said, “Vince, come up with a good character, tell the story, and keep the audience engaged. Themes are for professors with patches on their elbows.” I learned not to get hung up on the subtext. Just pay attention to what’s going on under your nose, and the rest will take care of itself.

Which other TV shows do you watch?
I watch more TV than I should when I get home, because I need it to decompress. I invariably wind up watching non-scripted stuff. I don’t mean reality TV—I’m not a big fan of that, because honestly it’s as scripted as Breaking Bad is. I love documentaries. But put me in front of a TV that’s playing Modern Marvels, I’ll watch that for ten hours straight. Like the history of carbon and all its many uses, or tungsten, or how do they strip-mine a mountain, or how they make explosives. How It’s Made is a fun show. I love the Food Network. I love Good Eats. I don’t want politics. I don’t want characters. I want to learn how something is made, how it was created, who came up with it.

There’s also a channel, ME TV, that I watch endlessly—old episodes of Columbo and Perry Mason, which I didn’t know that well. I’ll watch Twilight Zone anytime it’s on the air even though I’ve seen it a hundred times. I’ll watch Lost in Space or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. They’ve got all these fun old fifties and sixties shows that are very well written, and yet because they’re so far in the past, they allow me to just turn my brain off and vegetate, which is something I need when I get home.

I was in a pitch meeting with the head of a network, and I started to pitch Breaking Bad, and he says, “It sounds a little like Weeds.” I said, “What is Weeds?” I’m pretty sure it hadn’t gone on Showtime yet, and regardless I didn’t have Showtime. If I’d known about Weeds, I would have never pitched Breaking Bad.

With Breaking Bad nearly over, what will you do next? How serious is the talk about a Saul Goodman spinoff series?
We’re in early discussions for a spinoff. In my dream version of it, I would help create the pilot and arc out the first season and then basically transition away and let Peter Gould, who created the character, run it.

What would the tone be?
We’re still trying to figure out whether it’s a half-hour or an hour. It’s lighter than Breaking Bad, but it’s not a sitcom. I have a hard time with most modern sitcoms because the structure is so self-limiting. You have to have a laugh every eleven seconds, which is so artificial. It’s like Kabuki theater. It’s so unrealistic to me. Not to cast aspersions toward an entire art form, I just have a hard time relating to sitcoms, except for older ones like All in the Family, which were leavened with plenty of drama.

I rewatched all 54 hours of Breaking Bad last week to prepare for this interview, and I found myself enjoying it more than I did when I was watching week to week. How do you think binge-watching changes the experience of your show?
I don’t know, because I’ve never binge-watched anything. My butt starts hurting too much. But I’ll tell you, I am grateful as hell for binge-watching. I am grateful that AMC and Sony took a gamble on us in the first place to put us on the air. But I’m just as grateful for an entirely different company that I have no stake in whatsoever: Netflix. I don’t think you’d be sitting here interviewing me if it weren’t for Netflix. In its third season, Breaking Bad got this amazing nitrous-oxide boost of energy and general public awareness because of Netflix. Before binge-watching, someone who identified him- or herself as a fan of a show probably only saw 25 percent of the episodes. X-Files fans would say to me, “I love that show. I’m a big fan.” I’d say, “Well, did you see this episode?” “No. I didn’t see that one. Which ones did you write?” And every episode they’d mention would be one I didn’t write. But it’s a different world now.

Having binge-watched, I have to ask: What can you tell me about the ending of Breaking Bad?
In my mind, the ending is a victory for Walt. You might see the episode and say, “What the fuck was he talking about?” But it’s a somewhat happy ending, in my estimation.

*This article originally appeared in the May 20, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.

Los Angeles Times Hero Complex: ‘The X-Files’: Remembering mood and mystery of a sci-fi landmark

May-12-2013
‘The X-Files’: Remembering mood and mystery of a sci-fi landmark
Los Angeles Times Hero Complex
Robert Lloyd

[Original article here]

Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder in "The X-Files." Three episodes from the landmark television series will screen as part of the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder in “The X-Files.” Three episodes from the landmark television series will screen as part of the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

PERSPECTIVE

I came to “The X-Files,” which turns 20 this year, after its first season, and for a time I had no idea what was happening. This was a good way to watch a show whose greatest strength was its air of dreamlike mystery.

Folded across the turn of the 21st-century, it was a millennial show for a millennial time, reflecting a popular preoccupation with apocalypse and messiahs, puzzling phenomena and unexplained mysteries, psychic surgeons and alien autopsies, random mutations and science gone too far. It was also, looking back on old episodes, a time of pay phones, answering machines, tape recorders, dot-matrix printouts, padded shoulders and big eyeglasses.

The basics were fairly clear: Fox “Spooky” Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were FBI agents whose particular job it was to handle cases outside the bounds of conventional human crime — paranormal this and that. He was (mostly) a believer and she was (largely) a skeptic, which gave them something to disagree on.

Their superiors, some of whom were also villains, were not happy about their work, but for some reason — possibly there was a reason, which I have since forgotten, other than that there was a TV show to make — they mostly let it go on.

“Again, nothing but evidence,” Mulder says at the end of another hour in which they have discovered much and proved nothing, “and again ,no evidence at all.”

Gillian Anderson, left, and David Duchovny in a scene from "The X-Files." (Fox)

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in a scene from “The X-Files.” (Fox)

Between the “monster-of-the-week” episodes, the show also established a complicated ongoing story founded on Mulder’s search for his missing sister, whom he believed to have been abducted by aliens when they were children. This eventually worked itself out into a relatively neat intertwining of alien-colonization and government conspiracy stories.

Yet I preferred to not quite follow this “mythology,” to keep it a little out of focus. In the realm of the fantastic, you are always better off with questions than with answers, which  even when they are supernatural are by their nature prosaic. And though creator Chris Carter and story editor Frank Spotnitz made sure there were more of the former, the truth, in the words of the series’ tagline, was better kept “out there,” a little beyond our grasp — just as Mulder’s “wanting to believe” was more interesting than any confirmation of his hopeful belief.

Characters such as William B. Davis’ Cigarette-Smoking Man were less interesting the more I knew about their motives, even if there was always something new and unsuspected (and sometimes seemingly arbitrary) to learn.

Indeed, similar plots and plotters have been recycled through countless films and television series, some of which took inspiration directly from “The X-Files” and few of which have had anything like that series’ allure, intelligence or impact.

I don’t know how much direct inspiration Carter took from “Twin Peaks,” whose two-season run ended the year before “The X-Files” began. (The mid-’70s “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” with Darren McGavin as a reporter weekly engaging the supernatural, is its most frequently mentioned influence.) But the two have much in common: woodsy, murky Pacific northwest locations (“The X-Files” filmed in and around Vancouver for its first five seasons, and “Twin Peaks” filmed in Washington state); mysterious, sometimes nameless characters; and a deep investment in the notion that there is meaning in a beautiful image.

Even more than “Twin Peaks,” “The X-Files” explored mood as content. Though it was born in the age of the 4:3 aspect ratio and (comparatively) low-resolution image, there was from the beginning an intentional, emotional, painterly use of color and shape and a choreographic approach to light. You can watch the show with the sound down and still feel what you are meant to feel.

At the same time, there were occasional flashes of meta-fictional self-consciousness: “Where’s the writer? I want to speak to the writer,” a dissatisfied Mulder says at the end of “The Post-Modern Prometheus,” which was shot, in shadowy black-and-white, like an old Universal Pictures “Frankenstein” — and framed as a comic book, for good measure.

In the Season 3 episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” Mulder decries “the military-industrial-entertainment complex”; a few seasons later, in the Duchovny-written and -directed “Hollywood A.D.,” Mulder and Scully are transformed into Garry Shandling and Téa Leoni, in a big-screen, high-octane mangling of their lives.

"The X-Files" actors Gillian Anderson, left, and David Duchovny. (Michael Lavine / Fox)

“The X-Files” actors Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. (Michael Lavine / Fox)

Such episodes were, to be sure, exceptions. Most weeks, “The X-Files”unrolled at a deliberate, dreamy pace that was echoed in the measured energy of its leads. Both Duchovny and Anderson had a softness, even a sleepiness, superficially at odds with their roles as FBI agents and action heroes. They were not dry and deadpan, exactly (though they were, through the years, increasingly droll.) Theirs was a kind of restrained sensuality, a narcotic eroticism.

(I mean no disrespect to Robert Patrick or Annabeth Gish, who as agents Doggett and Reyes slid into lead roles in the last couple of seasons — seasons that certainly had some good and even great episodes — but they are somewhat beside the point.)

Scully and Mulder, Mulder and Scully — pivoting on that central “ul,” you can begin with one name and end with the other: Mully. Sculder. They are two sides of the same coin, interlocking yin and yang, one unthinkable without the other. It was therefore the custom of the show to endanger them in turns — to abduct, imprison, experiment upon and/or sicken them, in order to turn up the feeling.

Carter kept them scrupulously out of each other’s arms for most of the show’s run; their commitment was to the Job, and to the out-there Truth. For the first five or six seasons they were less Romeo and Juliet than they were Hansel and Gretel, wandering in the woods (there were a lot of woods in “The X-Files”), flashlights in hand.

"The X-Files" director Chris Carter in 2008. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

“The X-Files” director Chris Carter in 2008. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

For fans who wanted to see them romantically engaged, Carter’s refusal did nothing to dampen that desire, and likely compounded it. Eventually, he did bring them together, or stopped keeping them apart. Even then, though, the relationship was more glimpsed than explored — as if to say, yes, viewer, we will give this to you, and no, it is really none of your business.

When last seen, at the end of the credits to the 2008 “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” — the second film sprung from the series, released six years after the end of its run — they were rowing toward a tropical island (having spent the rest of the movie in the snow.)

For all we know, they are there still.

The episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” will screen as part of the Hero Complex Film Festival on Sunday evening in Hollywood. Look for more coverage from the festival, including from the 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” featuring special guest Chris Carter, in the coming days. And feel free to leave your favorite “X-Files” memory in the comments below.

Vulture: Lily Tomlin on Admission, Tina Fey, and Girls

Mar-19-2013
Lily Tomlin on Admission, Tina Fey, and Girls
Vulture
Jennifer Vineyard

[Original here]

[Extract]

You used to go to showrunners and ask to guest-star on their programs: The X Files, The West Wing, Damages. Is there anything you’d like to be on today?
A lot of jobs I got like that. I got on Damages because I was mad for it, and The West Wing because I was bereft that I wasn’t on it. I went up to Chris Carter and I said, “I want to be on it!” when The X Files first came on. “Anything?” I’m sorry to say I like all the crime shows, but I have a heavy reaction if there’s too many dead females in the plot. I’ve turned down some decent roles, because you have to jump from twenty stories and go through the roof of a bus, and you’re all mangled. So I always hate those. And I don’t want to hold up people who have no virtue whatsoever as role models, because we fall in love with those people! It’s like Tony Soprano, he’s a real brute. Throws some girl over the desk and fucks her from behind, and then he’d go to the psychiatrist and we empathize with him. For adults, we should be able to absorb that and come out the other side in a wholesome way, but it’s hard. Tell me some shows you like, and I’ll tell you if I want to be on them.

Daily Illini: X-Files creator speaks at University’s Fear Film Festival

Feb-25-2013
X-Files creator speaks at University’s Fear Film Festival
Daily Illini
Austin Keating

[Original article here]

512af8fccb1c4.image

Foellinger Auditorium was packed with insect enthusiasts to celebrate the 30th annual Insect Fear Film Festival, sponsored by the entomology department.

The event was called “The Ins-X Files,” and Chris Carter, creator of the science fiction series “The X-Files,” spoke at the event and answered audience questions after screenings of his productions.

“I always try to accept all the invitations I get to stuff that honors ‘The X-Files’ because it was something I worked very hard on,” Carter said. “If people are willing to throw something in our honor, I’m more than happy to honor them by showing up.”

Other event attractions included a cockroach petting zoo, an art competition with local K-12 students and face painting.

May Berenbaum, event organizer and head of the department of entomology, said she felt a special connection to one of the screened productions, an “X-Files” episode called “War of Coprophages.”

“I was just ecstatic when I asked Chris Carter to pick from the nine or so episodes that feature insects, and he picked ‘War of the Coprophages,’” she said. “The screenwriter had used some of the books I had written as background, and when it came time to name the entomologist in that episode, he thought ‘Berenbaum’ was a good name, so he used it.”

Berenbaum said the goal of the event was to dispel the fear of insects generated by media.

“Always our goal is for people to gain a deeper appreciation of insects as they really are, which, as entomologists, we know is almost stranger than fiction,” Berenbaum said.


Hundreds of insect enthusiasts filled Foellinger Auditorium on Saturday night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the entomology department’s Insect Fear Film Festival.

The event was called “The Ins-X Files,” and Chris Carter, the creator of “The X-Files” spoke at the event. The Daily Illini sat down with Carter to discuss the festival.

 Daily Illini: Why did you choose to show “War of Coprophages” out of all the episodes about insects in “The X-Files”?

Chris Carter: Because of May Berenbaum (festival creator), it was the obvious episode to show, and because it’s one of the best episodes of the show.

DI: What efforts did you take to make the show more realistic?

CC: We were really rigorous in our science research because, for me, the story’s only as scary as it is believable, so it’s got to start with real science, and then the science fiction is built in on that.

DI: “The X-Files” was really the first science fiction horror show of its kind. Was it difficult getting that past studio executives in the mid-’90s?

CC: It’s hard to get … anything past the studio executives. They’re always braced for failure. … I always say they dare you to succeed because most things fail, and they’re certain that when you’re making something in the beginning that you are tempting fate and failure by making whatever choice you make, so it’s a very nervous process.

DI: What was your major inspiration behind “The X-Files”?

CC: There were many inspirations. One of the big ones was a show that was on when I was a kid. It was called “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.” It really wasn’t all that much like “The X-Files,” but it was scary and I wanted to do something as scary as “Night Stalker.”

DI: There are people from across the United States who came here to see you speak. When you first started “The X-Files,” did you feel like it would become as big as it is now?

CC: No. It’s still amazing and surprising to me. It’s really one of the reasons we come to these things. Because when we were working on this show so hard for all those years, you really kept your head down. You worked really hard, and this is for me the wonderful result, a product of all that hard work. It’s a really nice thing.

DI: Not many people know that Vince Gilligan, creator of “Breaking Bad,” was a writer for your show. What do you make of his recent success?

CC: I couldn’t be a bigger fan. He’s created a masterpiece, and it’s not surprising to me because he’s one of the most original and bright minds in our business.

DI: What shows are you watching now?

CC: I’ve been watching “Breaking Bad.” I just watched the 13 episodes of “House of Cards,” which just came on Netflix. I went back and watched five years of “The Wire” recently, which was great. I just watched the pilot to “The Americans,” which I thought was good. I tend to go with something I like that’s been on before and watch it all, it’s just how I do it.

DI: What projects do you have going? What are your plans for the future?

CC: I have something with Showtime that might go this year. I’m talking to AMC about a possible television series.

DI: So what do you do with your free time?

CC: Well, I work really hard. When you’re in production on a TV show or two, you couldn’t be any busier. There’s not a moment in the day where you can goof off. So now I have moments in the day where I can kind of goof off right now, which is a luxury in my business, and I’m enjoying all those moments before I go into production again.

Austin can be reached at akkeati2@dailyillini.com.

National Geographic Magazine: Insect Fear Film Festival

Feb-22-2013
Insect Fear Film Festival: Just Like Cannes, Only With Spiders and Scorpions Instead of Jennifer Lawrence and Brad Pitt
National Geographic Magazine, Pop Omnivore
Cathy Newman

[Original article here]

When it comes to generating buzz, it’s hard to beat the Insect Fear Film Festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Saturday, February 23.  The lights will dim in the Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The screen will light up. Skin will crawl— as will a cinematic parade of members of the phylum Arthropoda, which includes spiders, scorpions and insects. One of the featured films will be War of the Coprophages” from season 3 of The X-Files, which features killer cockroaches.

The bug film fest was the idea of Professor May Berenbaum, head of the university’s Department of Entomology. “It’s about education,” she says, and righting the wrongs done to “the most misunderstood taxon on the planet.”  National Geographic Editor at Large Cathy Newman caught her between classes to talk about the event.

Let’s talk about how the idea of the Insect Fear Film Festival was…pardon my saying so…hatched.

I was a graduate student in entomology at Cornell University, walking across campus when I saw a sign advertising a showing of Godzilla, sponsored by the Asian Student Association.  ‘If they can have fun, so can we,” I thought. When I pitched the idea of an insect fear festival, my department head said it was undignified.

Many years later, when I was on the faculty here at the University of Illinois and established in the field, I tried again. My department head loved it.  We held the first festival in 1984.

How does it compare with Cannes?

Well, it’s not so much about film as insects. And we don’t have premieres.  The goal is education through entertainment. For our purposes a film doesn’t have to be excellent.

I imagine most insect films meet the criteria of non-excellence. Is there anything above a grade B film in the genre?

The granddaddy of them all is Them! A 1954 film about an encounter with a race of giant ants.  It was nominated for an Oscar and was Warner Brothers’ biggest grossing film that year.  Angels and Insects (1995) won an Academy Award for costumes. Many big actors got their start in bug films. Clint Eastwood appeared as the jet pilot in Tarantula (1955). Leonard Nimoy appears in Braineaters (1958).

Are there trends in insect films?

In the 1950s big bug films were popular—oversized insects made so by radiation. What causes the mutation differs with the era.  Genetically engineered big bugs came in the 1990s. In the 1970s, swarms were popular.

Is the film festival an attempt to proselytize the public and convert them to the cult of entomology?

It’s a plea for tolerance. Yes, there are bad actors in the insect world. Insects that have caused pain and suffering. Insects are vectors of disease. They consume 30 percent of the world’s crops. But there are far more good guys than bad guys. They recycle and can tackle materials not otherwise broken down. They pollinate. Without insects the world would be bleak and inhospitable.

How did you get interested in insects?

I used to be afraid of them. I would go out of my way not to cross the path of a caterpillar. But I always wanted to be a biologist and at Yale, when I placed out of introductory biology, a course on terrestrial arthropods was the only one available. I confronted my fears and here I am today.

Do you have a favorite insect? And a favorite insect film?

I’m asked about my favorite insect all the time. Do you ask an English major their favorite author?  Each has its own appeal. As far as film, it would be Beginning of the End, a 1957 film in which giant irradiated grasshoppers attack central Illinois, end up in Chicago, and drown in Lake Michigan. One reason I like it is because it starts out here in central Illinois, but it is clearly not filmed here because you can see mountains in the background.

If you have a fly or cockroach in your house do you catch and release it outside?

It depends on the fly. I know which ones pose a risk and which don’t. I have a low tolerance for mosquitoes because they carry disease. Of course there are mosquitoes that pollinate orchids. No one species is totally irredeemable.  As far as insects in the house, I’m perfectly happy to escort the harmless ones outside.

IDW Press Reelase: IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Open THE X-FILES!

Jan-28-2013
IDW Press Reelase: IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Open THE X-FILES!

[Original article here]

The Landmark Series Finds a New Publishing Outlet in 2013

San Diego, CA (January 28, 2013) – IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products are thrilled to announce a partnership to publish an exciting series of works based on the legendary series, THE X-FILES. IDW’s publishing plan includes reprinting collections of the classic issues published intermittently from 1995 through 2009, as well as creating brand-new X-FILES comics to launch in June 2013.

Over two movies and two hundred television episodes, THE X-FILES, is a juggernaut of science fiction-tinged intrigue, unique characters and carefully constructed stories. The show’s popularity raged into the comic world, seeing successful series mounted by publishers Topps and Wildstorm. Despite this, new publishing has not been available since 2009′s joint Wildstorm/IDW crossover – 30 Days of Night/The X-Files – leaving fans without a venue for the continuing sequential adventures of Mulder and Scully… until now.

THE X-FILES is a classic property that helped redefine fans’ expectations for the science-fiction and horror genres,” said IDW’s President/Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein. “The possibilities for new comic stories are virtually unlimited!”

“The fans of THE X-FILES have remained loyal to the series since its conclusion. What better way to continue the show’s legacy and give back to them than through new stories in a different medium,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President of Fox Consumer Products. “IDW has worked with a number of our Fox properties, and we know they’re going to do great things with these iconic characters.”

In 2013, fans of THE X-FILES will want to believe in new comics from IDW Publishing! The home of successful kindred series like 30 Days of Night, Doctor Who, and Locke & Key, to name a few, IDW is excited to bring the enduring legacy of THE X-FILES back to comics.

“Few shows have captured the zeitgeist and fans’ imaginations like THE X-FILES, and fewer shows still have left people hungry for more in the way this one did,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. “Our new series will be picking up where the second film left off, which will hopefully be as exciting for fans to read as it is for us to develop.”

Moviehole: Exclusive : What are the chances of an X-Files 3?

Jan-20-2013
Exclusive : What are the chances of an X-Files 3?
Moviehole
Sandi Hicks

[Original here]

For as long as I can remember, I have had one passion. It involves two FBI agents, and their tireless search for ‘the truth’. For years we watched them investigate hundreds of bizarre cases – from liver eating mutants through to alien abductions and super soldiers.

For those familiar with ”The X-Files” mythology – Series creator Chris Carter’s finale ‘The Truth’ provided a pathway and a date for the final alien invasion that would come with the end of the series movie, which would ultimately finalize the franchise. At a charity event that was held in Los Angeles in July 2011, series creator Mr. Carter expressed his eagerness to complete the project and have it premiere on December 22nd 2012.

This date has since come and gone.

Thousands of fans write to Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz, via his website biglight.com asking him about when ”X-Files 3” is happening. The resounding message that ultimately comes from Mr. Spotnitz contain three words – “Don’t Give Up” (quite often shortened to D.G.U.) which was the recurring mantra of the second feature film ”The X-Files: I Want To Believe” (2008). Speaking with Moviehole, Mr. Spotnitz had the following to say about a third movie, “It took six years after the end of the TV series to get the last X-Files movie made. I hope it won’t be another six years before the next one gets released, but I’ll wait however long it takes.”

The second feature film was thought to be shunned by audiences due to its ‘summer blockbuster’ release alongside ”The Dark Knight”, and also largely because the story didn’t follow the mythology of the series. People were expecting an “end of the world, alien movie” and instead they got a stand alone feature film, which was basically a love letter to the ”X-Files” Fandom.

Largely misunderstood by so many, the film still went on to earn over $64 Million dollars worldwide, which was well over double the cost to produce.

“The last thing I heard from Chris (Carter) was that he was in the process of writing the script.” says Gillian Anderson, speaking exclusively to Moviehole. “As exciting as that sounds, and it is exciting, the script is the first of 10 million steps. And also, script writing in itself is a dubious process. I, for one, have been working on one for a decade. But Chris is not me and he is used to turning them out and, fingers crossed, he will turn one out that (20th Century) Fox wants to throw millions of dollars into making.”

Furthermore to the question that would the franchises principal actors return for the final installment, Ms. Anderson had a comical response, poking fun at the ‘tabloid rumours’ that circulated around the internet in 2012, “The answer to the next inevitable question is yes, should the latter happen, David (Duchovny) and I (I can answer for him because we live together) would be on board to do it. Given that we haven’t split up by then which would just be plain awkward.”

During promotion of the previous film ”The X-Files: I Want To Believe”, Ms. Anderson told fans to go out and see the last movie at least 10 times via her own website, GillianAnderson.ws – and most fans did just that!

Moreover, don’t discount the various worldwide fandom campaigns that have been conducted by XFilesNews.com, the only fandom website that is officially affiliated with 20th Century Fox. The dedicated fans that run this website have made the studio very aware of the audience presence that is still out there, awaiting closure.

So what is the hold up? The writers, producers, and actors are all on board.

Given an amazing script, the return of the award winning cast, and a superb score via the musical genius Mark Snow, who is responsible for all previous soundtrack work for the show and feature films, I believe that audiences would flock to see how the franchise is wrapped up.

So, what is the likelihood of ”X-Files 3” happening in 2013?
It all comes down to 20th Century Fox.
Don’t give up! We want to believe.