Posts Tagged ‘xf3’

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.

BlogCritics: Interview: Catching Up with The X-Files’ Dean Haglund – Part One

Nov-24-2012
Interview: Catching Up with The X-Files’ Dean Haglund – Part One
BlogCritics
Barbara Barnett

[Original here]

Actor-comedian Dean Haglund is probably best known for his role as Richard “Ringo” Langley, a Lone Gunman member on the iconic Fox series The X-Files. The Lone Gunmen were so popular, they were given their own show, and although that only lasted 13 episodes, it had positive reviews when it aired in 2001. In the aftermath of 9-11, some of the parallels between the series and the real-life horror of the tragedy were incredibly eerie.

I caught up with Dean last week to hear about his post-XF projects, which include his long-running podcast Chillpak Hollywood Hour, his new graphic novel, the very cool-sounding documentary The Truth is Out There, and a forthcoming graphic novel. We also talked about comedy, our mutual admiration of beautiful British Columbia, and of course, The X-Files. Because of the length of our conversation, I’ve split the interview in half. Part One is largely about The X-Files; Part Two is largely not.

I was really delighted that I made the connection through Denise Dorman of WriteBrain Media. When I mentioned, among other things, that I had done a lot of writing about The X-Files, she thought it would be a nice opportunity for the two of us to talk.
Aw, that’s awesome. So you’ve written extensively in terms of critical reviews of The X-Files, is that it?

haglund-2

It was probably how I ended up writing TV criticism at all—doing X-Files reviews on the old X-Files listserves back in the day.
Oh my gosh, that’s going back, isn’t it?

It is. And it led me to eventually write critical analyses of other TV shows, and the rest is history. Anyway, when I tweeted out this morning that I was going to be talking with you, I got all these tweets back asking me information on the alleged X-Files 3 movie.
There was a big push for getting that out before 2012 ended, but they would’ve had to already been shooting by now to get that out by 2012.

Hold that thought for a minute, because I want to get back to the movie. But I want to  talk about The X-Files series first. The Lone Gunmen were introduced how early in the first season?
We were just supposed to be day players back in an episode called “E.B.E.” which stood for Extraterrestrial Biological Entity. And I think it was a way to get Mulder inside a top-secret facility. They needed some guise. And at the time [episode writers] James Wong and Glenn Morgan said they saw these three guys in an airport handing out UFO pamphlets, and they were all very diverse, and they thought that was hilarious. So they created these characters, and it was just going to be a one-off thing. But I think because suddenly realized that the Lone Gunmen were the representation of the online, the early, early online fan gatherings that were happening back then. And they were happening in newsgroups. There was a newsgroup called alt.tv.xfiles.

Aha!
Do you remember that?

I not only remember it, that’s where I wrote my reviews back in the day.
That was the thing; everybody assumed that [creators] Chris Carter and Frank [Spotnitz] and [writer] Vince [Gilligan] were all lurking on the site. And in fact, they were, because they were so excited that this was the first time writers got a chance to get direct feedback anonymously. Like, you could see the feedback honestly. Because if you go, “I’m Frank, I write the show.”  Then everybody goes, “oh, I love the show,” and it’s hard to get honest feedback of what they [really] think of the show. But if you’re just lurking in the newsgroup, you can see how everybody is complaining about this, or you know, some of the ideas that the fans had back then were very, very passionate and very cogent. So Chris Carter really appreciated that, and [after] putting in the Lone Gunmen, the newsgroup went wild, going, oh, well, this proves it. And for seasons two and three, we would say lines that actually appeared on the newsgroup. So we would take an actual sentence from the newsgroup and give it to the Lone Gunmen to say.

Oh, that’s wild.
So we had this great symbiotic relationship with the fans early on, and I don’t think the Lone Gunmen would have been as popular were it not for the Internet and the newsgroups at the time.

At the time, the Internet was really sort of new. I mean, there had been newsgroups before, for a long time before, but I think that because being on the Internet had become all of a sudden fairly cost-effective, especially with AOL, suddenly everybody was online. You didn’t need like some crazy, $95-an-hour subscription anymore to hang out. There was some very serious discussion on alt.tv.x-files and alt.tv.x-files.analysis. Maybe for the first time about a TV show.
Yeah, and it actually sparked, like whole communities of debate, which I always found fascinating. But, you know, scientists would gravitate, and talk about the science aspects of the TV show, and then the [Mulder-Scully] “shippers” and the “no-romos” had their own newsgroups, and I really thought that was a great fragmentation of how you could find your own collective group and hang out with them.

And, for the most part, the discussion was very intelligent. I remember a lot of the participants were writers themselves, especially fanfiction writers, including me, and it was really cool. There was tons of X-Files fanfiction: some fairly brilliant novels, scripts, short stories…
I tended not to read a lot of that. Sometimes it delved into that slash universe that I wasn’t into, so I stayed away from it. And early on one of the executives said, “You know, if you read anything online, any fanfiction, and then that shows up in the series, and there is a lawsuit, you’re left out, hung out to dry. We’re not going to support you on that. So be careful what you read, because if it mirrors on the TV show, the lawsuit lands on your shoulders, not the Fox Network.”

Back then, writing fanfiction was a real risk, and frowned upon by the networks. And now, it seems it’s really encouraged. Over the last couple years I’ve talked to a ton of TV writers, people who write amazing scripts for major shows. These days, the writers I ask about it really appreciate it as a compliment to their characters and their own work.
Absolutely, and that was a huge learning curve too for the executives, because I remember even when you could show video for the first time, when the bandwidth increased and you could show video on your website, all the fans used to put The X-Files up there, and they would get a note from Fox saying that’s licensed stuff; take it down. And then I would get e-mails saying, hey we’re fans of the show, we’re promoting the show, we want this on our website, why can’t we do it?  And I had to then get up on the legalities of copyright law, and be in the position of defending Fox.

And that too has changed, because now they have, you know, embeds, so the studio will release something and you can just embed it and everyone’s happy.
Yes, I think that was the thing. Before embedding, they felt like it was just being released in the wild. Now with embeds and all the tracking stuff, you can still get all the metrics back so that you know exactly how it’s being used and where, and still use that to sell advertising, I think was the biggest issue.

So I have to confess, I think I stopped watching The X-Files after season seven.
Right, when Mulder left.

When Mulder left, yeah. The show changed when it came to L.A., a little bit.
It sure did.

And it wasn’t just the move to L.A., I think the whole show just sort of changed, and I’m not sure if I could put my finger on why, but it just…
I know Chris Carter originally, said “we’ve got a five-year plan for this series, and then at the end of five years, we can go and do movies”—that kind of thing. And of course when you sell your show to a network, the network tells you when it’s over, so…  That’s sort of changed now too. I mean, there’s a way of ending series properly, but back then, because it was so successful, the network demanded more seasons than perhaps the writers wanted it to continue.

Right, right. And I think the fans kind of picked up on that.
Yeah. At that point everybody kind of burnt out. We were doing sixteen-hour days, every day.  Nobody saw a Saturday towards the end of the show because you were shooting all day and Friday night, and just slept all day Saturday. Sunday you did some chores and then Monday you’re back at work. And so it burnt out a lot of people for sure.

And after awhile the conspiracy got kind of crazy after a while as well, don’t you think?
Yeah, it became more and more—It got larger and larger, and it was a large—any time you brought it up there was a lot of strings that you had to keep—a lot of plates you had to keep spinning on the poles, as it were.

Right. Was there ever even a Bible for the show?
Not originally. In fact, it was just going to be sort of an anthology of monsters of the week—

I remember.
Absolutely. And then Gillian Anderson got pregnant and had to sort of be written out for a couple episodes, so they just wrote in an abduction story that arced over three episodes, and then from that became, well why was she abducted? Now the conspiracy, now the alien-hybrid thing, all of that started because she was pregnant, so—

Wow.
Yeah, I know, right?  If that didn’t happen, the series would have just continued on as a crime-of-the-week kind of thing.

The conspiracy arc was actually pretty compelling, until it got really convoluted…
We kept adding different layers; the layering of the onion, sort of was working in two directions. So I think, yeah, around season three, they sort of arced out a Bible, but definitely in the beginning there wasn’t one.

Unfair question time: Do you have a particular favorite season or a particular favorite episode or episodes?
Wow, so, yeah, difficult. I guess my favorite season is… Well, no, there’s no favorite season because some of the shows stood out so great without a season, that you couldn’t really connect them. The truth of my favorite episode, I still think is [Darin Morgan’s] “Humbug” with the Jim Rose Freak Circus—

What a fabulous episode that was: pathos and comedy rolled into one.
I saw them live in a bar when I was in college, and I thought the show was hilarious, Enigma and all of them in the show, acting and doing what they do as well. And I thought that was so cool.

So they were a real act, then?
Yeah. Oh, yeah, there was a live stage act. It was almost like an old throwback to a big circus that you would see on the road in the south or something like that, and each person would come up and they would do something horrific or bizarre. And there was one guy who wasn’t in the show, and I don’t know what happened to this guy, because it was the most amazing act I’ve ever seen, but he would step off the stage to the pool table that was in the bar, and he’d put in some coins and release the balls. And then he’d take all the solid colored balls, you know, one through eight, and he would swallow them. And then he would say, call up any number, and people would shout out ‘five’, and then he’d sit there and wriggle his stomach, and he’d bring up, out of his mouth, the five ball.

That is very strange and bizarre.
I know. How do you keep track? How do you do that?  How do you train for that?  How do you not throw up everything you ate all day?  I mean, like, there were so many questions. And then everybody—It was so stunning that the applause was just a smattering, because you couldn’t believe what you were seeing. And I never saw that act again. I don’t know what happened to that guy. I don’t know, but it was the most amazing bar show I’ve ever seen, so, So Humbug is my favorite.

I can imagine. Darin Morgan wrote some really great episodes in addition to that one.
Oh, yeah. He was so good. I loved Clyde Bruckman’s Return. He’s a brilliant writer.

And he didn’t start out as an X-Files writer, as I recall.
Well, no, he came because of his brother, Glen, and acted in one episode. (He played the iconic Flukeman in the early season two episode “The Host.”) He’s the guy with the tail [in the fourth season episode “Small Potatoes].

And then, of course there were the various “shipper” camps. I have to confess, I wasn’t really a Mulder-Scully shipper, I was more of a Mulder-Scully USTer.
I was a Noromo myself, frankly. I appreciated a relationship that was based on respect and intellect, even though they didn’t agree on their points of view, and that they could be working together and not have to make it all kissey-gooey, so I was disappointed when it became kissey-gooey, as… Yeah, and it’s not just the tension, but it takes out the idea that you could work with somebody on a professional basis and still call that a relationship, you know? And have it as satisfying, and not be boyfriend-girlfriend or whatever, cohabitation thing. So when the second X-Files movie came out and you know, they’re just in a cabin together…  Just wrote me out of the movie.

Oh, yeah, well, in the first movie, there was that infamous “almost-kiss.”
Yeah, well, you know, there were a lot of executives involved in how that movie needed to play. So, yes, you had to answer everything from season four, and it had to be a lead-in to season five, and it had to be a stand-alone so that, for people who had never seen the TV series, they could watch the movie and still get it. And so, because of all of these demands put on that movie, I was surprised it was as good as it was.

What did you think of the second movie?
See, now here was the harder issue. I mean, already you had the romance thing. They’re already cohabitating in a cabin. And then, aside from the [2007-2008 Writer’s Guild] strike, they had a lot of restrictions. The writers’ strike was coming; they couldn’t do re-writes, so they basically had the script that they had. And I didn’t realize this, but they had written another script, and they had it in story notes, and Frank moved production offices and that shoebox went missing. So they basically had six months to write that script, and then had no opportunity for re-writes because of the—

Strike.
The writers’ strike, right. So that was a really tough position to be in. And then, for my taste, you know, a lot of the conspiracy of the government stuff [in the second movie]… I mean, here you are at the height of the Bush administration with, you know, Karl Rove and all these guys, and then you write about Russian head transplants. It just seems like you missed a real opportunity to explore conspiracy in the government.

I mean, when we had our own real-life insanity going on, real time, how do you not…?
Exactly, I know. You had this opportunity to do—Even if you couched it in some other thing, you know, different names and stuff like that, you could’ve still explored all of these ideas, and instead chose two-headed dogs, you know?

Yeah, yeah. That was a missed opportunity.
I agree.

So do you think there is going to be a third movie?  You think they’ll get a redux, or a do-over?
A do-over?  Well, you know I talked to Frank that—He moved to London, and he said he’s into it. It’s just once Chris comes up with something that his heart’s really into, then there will be a third movie. But right now it’s all resting on Chris Carter’s shoulders and his impetus to come up with a really great story.

Stay tuned for Part Two.

Den Of Geek: Exclusive: Frank Spotnitz on The X-Files’ potential return to TV

Nov-20-2012
Exclusive: Frank Spotnitz on The X-Files’ potential return to TV
Den Of Geek
Louisa Mellor

[Original article here]

Former executive producer of The X-Files “wouldn’t be surprised at all” if the show returned to the small screen…

With the BBC broadcast of Hunted finishing this Thursday, we chatted to series creator Frank Spotnitz about the BBC’s decision not to renew the spy drama, the show’s public reception, and his plans for the forthcoming HBO/Cinemax Hunted spin-off. That interview will be available to read in full tomorrow, but in the meantime, we thought you might be interested in this little snippet of The X-Files-related chat.

As a former executive producer of The X-Files, we first asked Spotnitz what the status was on the franchise’s planned third and final film (Spotnitz recently told Collider that he, Chris Carter and the cast want to press ahead, but the studio is dragging its feet based on the second movie’s performance):

We’re as keen as you are for The X-Files film trilogy to finally be completed. Do you have a script for the third film in place?

No. No I don’t. I mean I’ve known for many years what I would like the movie to be and I’ve been talking to Chris Carter about it for many years, but there is no script.

Is it still the big alien invasion movie you want to do?

Yes, it’s the climax of the alien colonisation story that began the series.

Do you foresee The X-Files ever pulling a Star Trek and returning to the small screen in a different incarnation?

I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I mean, I don’t think I would have anything to do with it, but you know, for better or for worse, these things are titles of big corporations, like Star Trek belongs to Paramount and The X-Files belongs to Twentieth Century Fox and it’s a huge asset in their libraries so I can’t imagine they would let it sit languishing forever.

Mulder and Scully: The College Years?

Anything could happen. I just hope that if they do it, they do it well, that’s my only request.

We’ll second that request. Straw poll though, over a decade since Millenium and The Lone Gunmen ended, who welcomes the idea of a new X-Files TV prequel/sequel/spin-off?

 

CraveOnline: Frank Spotnitz on ‘Hunted’ Season 1

Nov-17-2012
Frank Spotnitz on ‘Hunted’ Season 1
CraveOnline
Fred Topel

[Original article here]

The creator of Cinmax’s original spy series teases us about tonight’s “a-ha” episode and drops more hints about a third X-Files movie.

Cinemax’s latest original series, “Hunted” stars Melissa George” as Sam Hunter, an agent for the private intelligence firm Byzantium. Her current mission has Sam going undercover as a family’s nanny, and so far every situation has her fighting with or shooting at bad guys.

We got to chat with creator Frank Spotnitz by phone, while he is still in London where “Hunted” is based. We know Spotnitz from his years of work on “The X-Files” and “Millennium,” so we had to ask for an update on the third X-Files movie too.

CraveOnline: What feedback have you gotten so far as the first few episodes have aired in the states?

Frank Spotnitz: Pretty good. I’m pretty happy with the reviews. I’m one of those foolish people who goes online and looks at what people are saying on Twitter. It’s been pretty gratifying I have to say.

CraveOnline: We’ve seen two episodes so far. Where are things going to go from here?

Frank Spotnitz: Well, as you know, it’s very plot heavy, very dense and there’s lots and lots of twists and turns coming up. I’d say episode 5 is really the turning point in the whole show. I mean, everything changes in episode 5 but that’s not to say a lot doesn’t happen between episode 2 and episode 5. It does. More than I could summarize is going to happen in the next couple episodes.

CraveOnline: Even in episode 5, is that pretty soon to have a game changer in a first season?

Frank Spotnitz: It’s still the same story and everything like that, but there’s like a huge ah-ha moments where you understand how everything fits together in a way you may not see coming.

CraveOnline: How long does Sam’s undercover assignment as the nanny continue?

Frank Spotnitz: That story continues and it ends pretty definitively in the final episode. So in season two, knock wood, it’ll be a completely different assignment.

CraveOnline: How much fun do you have coming up with different encounters for Sam to fight and have action?

Frank Spotnitz: [Laughs] Well, I’m of a mixed mind I’ve got to say. I find those really hard to come up with, action sequences, because it is mechanical and you’re always trying to find the thing that sets it apart from any other action sequence you’ve seen before. You’re doing a TV timeframe and budget and yet you want to be as compelling as you can, so it’s a real challenge coming up with those things but they are fun. I mean, they’re really fun to put together and to see, so I’m not complaining.

CraveOnline: Did you get to direct any of those yourself?

Frank Spotnitz: I didn’t. I didn’t get to direct at all until the end. I directed just a few days towards the end because we were running out of time so I got to do some second unit at the end, but it was pretty much just acting scenes, no action.

CraveOnline: When you were casting actresses for Sam, were you looking for people who had experience with action, like she was on “Alias?”

Frank Spotnitz: Yes and no. Obviously she had to be somebody who looked a certain way because she’s supposed to seduce men in the show, so she’s got to be believable as a siren for men. Then she had to have that physicality which Melissa certainly does.

She’s incredibly fit. But the thing I was really looking for was, Sam is cold and invulnerable in her personal interactions, but if that’s all she is the show doesn’t really work. Most of the actresses I saw, they were good at playing the toughness and the coldness, but there was nothing underneath it. What I think Melissa brings to the role, I’m always aware there’s something going on underneath.

There’s this duality with her all the time, both when she’s Sam and you see there’s something underneath that surface that she doesn’t want you to see, and then when she’s undercover as Alex Kent, I can see the Sam poking through and that’s really hard to do. It’s easy to miss how difficult that is and that’s why the part was really hard to cast, just finding somebody who had that emotional depth.

CraveOnline:
You’ve worked in FBI and government genres before. What’s different about the spy world of “Hunted?”

Frank Spotnitz: The thing that struck me is that if you’re working for the FBI or even the CIA, you assume you’re the good guy, and you are. You’re trying to do the right thing for the American people. But when you go to work for a private security firm, you can’t make that assumption because you’re working for a private interest who has an objective and in many of these firms, as in the firm in my show, if you’re an operative, you’re not told who the client is.

So I thought that was really interesting for a spy show, not quite like anything I’d seen before, especially if you’re trying to create paranoia which this show is. To not know who you’re working for and whether you really should succeed or not I thought was really an interesting dilemma.

CraveOnline: Also do these agents get into a lot more fistfights and gunfights than Scully and Mulder did?

Frank Spotnitz: Yes, for sure. It’s a different genre. It’s really an action show and that was one of our tasks every week was to find really exciting action and stunts to put the characters in.

CraveOnline: Because Cinemax is primarily a movie channel, did they have any means or facility to accommodate that?

Frank Spotnitz: Well, they knew it was what they wanted for their audience, but they really left it up to me and my partners at Kudos here in London to figure out how to get it done. It was challenging at times because, for instance, the opening of episode 1 we shot at Morocco and that’s quite a big action sequence there.

You’ve got the action outside the theater where Sam seems to get assassinated, then her being chased through the Kasbah and then that whole thing at the café where she fights off those three men, sets one of them on fire, it was a giant undertaking to do that in Morocco, but we managed to pull it off.

CraveOnline: Is it an advantage that you’re allowed to be a little more explicit on Cinemax?

Frank Spotnitz: Yeah, it’s nice. I think this is a really great time to be working in television. I guess that’s not a surprise to anybody but the creative freedom that all this original programming that cable channels are offering is unparalleled. It’s unimaginable, 15 years ago when I was doing “The X-Files,” that you’d be able to write things like this and have the kinds of situations and dialogue that you can do now.

Having said that though, I’m not eager to push things just for the sake of pushing things. There’s a number of fight sequences for instance that I pulled back. What was shot was far more explicit, but I decided you don’t really need to see that. It doesn’t help you tell the story in any way. So there’s a line. I think it’s a line that you approach it and it’s great and then you can go past it, and I try not to go past it.

 


CraveOnline: How do you get that blue tint that the show has?

Frank Spotnitz: Well, the blue really was noticeable especially episode 1 because the director, S.J. Clarkson wanted to make Tangier have this kind of golden hue to it and then Scotland this kind of green and then London this cool blue. That we did in the color correction sessions, but as the show goes on, we stay in London so the palette of that blue fades. It loses its purpose if you keep doing it so if you’re paying really close attention, it becomes more and more subtle as the series goes on and it’s very subtle by the time you get to episode 8.

CraveOnline:
Is there something about the spy genre that lends itself to blue tinted cinematography like the Bourne movies?

Frank Spotnitz: She thought it was helping to tell the story because in Tangier, Sam was at her best. This was leading up to her being shot, she was at the top of her game. Then she goes to Scotland which is sort of safety, a refuge. And then coming back to London, it was sort of the cold, hard world of Byzantium and that’s why blue seemed appropriate. So it was more an attempt to key in on her emotional state.

CraveOnline: How many of the scripts for season 1 did you write?

Frank Spotnitz: I wrote five of the episodes and then I collaborated in our writer’s room, which is really unusual in this country, with three British writers, each of whom wrote one episode.

CraveOnline: How does this kind of writer’s room compare to what you had on “The X-Files?”

Frank Spotnitz: Well, it’s smaller because in “The X-Files” we were doing 24 episodes a year and here we’re only doing eight. They are eight full hours though. They’re 58 minutes long whereas “X-Files” tended to be more like 45 minutes long because it was on a broadcast network with commercial breaks.

CraveOnline: But “The X-Files” worked in those massive arcing story elements.

Frank Spotnitz: Yes, yes. It’s interesting because those story arcs were really only in six to eight episodes a year out of the 24. Now when I do shows with mythology, people expect them to be in every single episode and they miss it if it’s not there. That’s not the way “The X-Files” did it and I think that was one of the secrets to “The X–Files”’ longevity was that it didn’t move the mythology along that quickly.

CraveOnline: Have you gotten a second season order from Cinemax yet?

Frank Spotnitz: I am waiting with baited breath and feeling optimistic so I should know soon hopefully.

CraveOnline: When would you gear up to produce that?

Frank Spotnitz: That’s a good question. I assume we’d start shooting early in 2013.

CraveOnline: I know you’ve been busy with “Hunted” but has there been any talk or movement in the X-Files movie world?

Frank Spotnitz: Well, yeah. Honestly, it comes down to the studio saying yes, but I continue to talk to Chris Carter who wants to do it, as do David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. I have no news to announce sadly, but I am not giving up hope. I hope that there will be a third and final movie that brings “The X-Files” alien colonization story to a climax.

CraveOnline: So the next one would have to be the last?

Frank Spotnitz: Never say never, but my hope would be to give it the really satisfying, powerful ending that it deserves. I would be very content, speaking for myself now, I can’t speak for David or Chris or Gillian, but for myself I’d be just really happy to give it a great ending.

CraveOnline: Is that ending made up of material you’ve been sitting on since the finale of the series?

Frank Spotnitz:
Well, yes. In truth, it’s changed because it took so long to get the second movie made and then we were hoping that this third movie would happen before 2012 which was a significant date in the “X-Files” mythology and obviously it hasn’t happened.

But there’s a core group of story ideas that Chris and I have been discussing for I guess about a decade now, hard to believe. Yes, we have a lot of ideas about what should happen in that movie.

CraveOnline: You mentioned David and Gillian, but would Agent Doggett have any role in it?

Frank Spotnitz:
I can’t say. That’s sort of like a spoiler to say whether he’d be in it or not. All I can say is that I love that character and I love Robert Patrick, so it wouldn’t make me unhappy if he was in it.

CraveOnline: You also got to work with Vince Gilligan for many years. What have you thought of his success with “Breaking Bad?”

Frank Spotnitz: Ah, Vince is one of the nicest, most talented people I’ve ever met and a good friend. I think “Breaking Bad” is not just a great show, it’s one of the all time great shows. I love that show to death. I tune in every week like a fan and am just in awe of it. I’m just so proud of him and happy for him. It’s so well deserved because he’s worked for that success. It’s really remarkable I think.

CraveOnline: “Hunted” is really only the second original series on Cinemax. Do you feel like you’re on the ground floor of a new network?

Frank Spotnitz: I pinch myself because it was by accident. I came here to do “Hunted” and as soon as I got here there was a delay. So I found myself sitting around in London, like what am I going to do with myself, and so I said we’ll see if I can get a job writing something, which I’d never really done in my career, just looking for a job as a writer for hire.

Sure enough this show “Strike Back” needed somebody to help figure out how to make it a coproduction with the U.S. I ended up writing the first four episodes of that which became the first original show that Cinemax put on, and they were so happy with what I did that they said, “What else do you have?” And I go, “Oh, this show ‘Hunted’ that I’m going to be doing with the BBC.”

That’s how it happened. It was a complete accident. The people at Cinemax are the people at HBO. They’re terrific, really smart, really supportive. They do their jobs very, very well so I’m just really, really fortunate.

Snakkle: X-Files Alum Frank Spotnitz Talks About His Sleek and Sexy New Spy Thriller, Hunted

Oct-19-2012
X-Files Alum Frank Spotnitz Talks About His Sleek and Sexy New Spy Thriller, Hunted
Snakkle
Erin Fox

[Original article here]

Full disclosure: We’re big fans of Frank Spotnitz. After all, he spent years as a writer and executive producer on the iconic ‘90s sci-fi droolfest The X-Files and rebooted the creepier-than-creepy thriller Night Stalker for ABC. Though Night Stalker was never really given a proper shot (marketing and time-slot issues), it made for some compelling TV. So imagine our delight when we discovered that Spotnitz was back developing a kick-ass spy thriller called Hunted, starring the lovely Melissa George and airing on Cinemax (go figure!)—did we mention it’s written and set in the U.K.? Snakkle was lucky enough to speak to Spotnitz while he was in town for the Television Critics Association press tour and asked him about working in the U.K. TV system, the genesis of Hunted, casting Melissa George (Alias baddie!), and, of course, his thoughts on a third X-Files movie.

Snakkle: Tell me about the genesis for Hunted and how quickly after the second X-Files movie (released in 2008) did you have this idea bumping around in your brain?

Frank Spotnitz: I was invited to the U.K. to speak in 2009, and that’s when I thought about going over there to do a show. And I called Kudos [Film and Television], and I called Stephen Garrett and Jane Featherstone, because they’d been talking to me for seven years at that point about coming to London to do a show. I always wanted to go to London. I could see how the business was changing, and I thought there was an opportunity if you did the right type of show to do it in London and have it broadcast around the world. And so I called them and said, “I think I’ve got an idea for a spy show.”

Snakkle: How do they do things in television across the pond as opposed to here? Is it all written beforehand and do you shoot a pilot and then they “pick it up”?

Spotnitz: No. There are no pilots. It’s completely different. Everything about the business there is completely different. And that’s been one of the big surprises for me. I didn’t realize quite how different it was. We pitched it, which they don’t do normally. We did verbal pitches with the broadcasters, but in terms of the sale, it was more like an American show. So we wrote the first script and then they commissioned the whole series.

Snakkle: How many episodes did you get and how long are they?

Spotnitz: It’s eight one-hour episodes. It’s 58 minutes, where in the U.S. it’s 44. That makes a huge difference, actually.

Snakkle: So you don’t need 12 episodes. You’ve got eight full hours.

Spotnitz: I’d still take them, don’t get me wrong. I’d take 10, anyway, if they’d give them to me.

Snakkle: Talk a little bit about wanting to do a spy show. You’ve written about conspiracies and character-driven procedurals, but Hunted is more of a kick-ass thriller. It’s dark and sleek and spotlights this beautiful woman spy, Sam, who’s been betrayed by her employer. What made you go down that spy route?

Spotnitz: Well, I was trying to think of something I could do that would have international appeal, even with a British cast, and obviously if it worked in Britain it wouldn’t necessarily work in the U.S. I thought an American audience will accept British spies, and we’ve been watching them. It’s just an accepted genre, and I don’t think Americans even think twice about it. And, it happens to be my favorite genre—at least in movies and television. I grew up on I Spy and Mission Impossible, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and James Bond, who was hugely important to me when I was a kid. Every movie. Every book. I was obsessive about that. That was both the great appeal and the most terrifying thing about trying to do something in that genre. So many good things have been done, how do you do something new? So my starting point was to take a character like Jason Bourne. What if he were real? What if it’s a real guy? What’s he really like? Because this is television, it’s got to be character-based.

Snakkle: Right.

Spotnitz: You can’t just do the stunts and expect people to stick with it. I thought, well, he’s probably not actually all that warm and loving. I mean, he deceives people, he kills people, he’s going to be very cold, remote, unreachable, kind of emotionally not [able to] let people get close.

Snakkle: True…

Spotnitz: So that was interesting to me, but then how did he get that way? And that’s really what the genesis of the show was. In this case, Sam’s a female spy, and we realize something bad must have happened in her past to make her this cold, emotionally remote adult that we’re seeing. And then I thought, well, what happened? So that’s really still what the heart of the show is. It’s really, thematically, can you overcome your past? When bad things have happened in your past, can you move past them and have the future you want to have, or are you forever going to be shaped by these things? And so for her, these terrible things happened to her as a girl, which we flash back to.

Snakkle: I was going to ask how the structure of the show will work. Will there be flashbacks every week?

Spotnitz: Well, not necessarily every week. I think we try to be strategic about it, because they can start to become less powerful if you see too many of them. I was always determined that the story was going to drive these flashbacks, but you do consistently through the first eight episodes learn more and more about what happened in her past and how it ties into what’s happening to her now. What you learn in episode 5 is that in order to find out who tried to kill her and why, in order to stay alive now, she has to go back and look at her childhood. Which for a woman like Sam is actually harder than having to kill somebody. It’s harder to have to go back and relive the emotional pain of her childhood.

Snakkle: So you knew what the answer was before you started, and now the challenge is that you have to dole it out slowly…

Spotnitz: That’s the other thing I want to do in the show is not tease. I mean, a lot happens. It’s a very dense narrative. And it’s not boring. So much happens every week. You may think they’re going to make me wait eight episodes to find out who the mole is; no, you’re going to find out really fast. They’ll be trusting that we’ll keep coming up with really interesting twists and turns. You’ll learn pretty quickly watching the show that somebody may seem like a good guy, and two episodes later, no!—bad guy. And somebody you were sure was a bad guy well may be a good guy, which also heightens your paranoia, because you’re never sure. It’s all shifting sands.

Snakkle: For lack of a better term, is there a sort of mythology involved with Sam? And then you intersperse it with kind of like the case of the week?

Spotnitz: Yes, exactly. There’s a story every week that has a beginning, middle, and end. And then there’s the mythology, as you say, of who tried to kill her and why. It ties into a big conspiracy. It’s not aliens in this instance—look, it’s a work of fiction, but actually I think it’s raising real issues that would be good for people to think about. In our world, she works for a private spy agency. She’s not working for CIA or FBI or MI6, she’s working for people who are in this for profit. And the morality of the world we live in is very complicated and interesting. And that’s the heart of the conspiracy. It’s the privatized world we all live in. And then there’s an undercover assignment that she undertakes each year. So in this season, she goes into this house, the Turner house, and that story continues through the first eight episodes, but it will come to an end. Episode 8, that’s all resolved.

Snakkle: Talk about finding your Sam—Melissa George. She’s played a baddie spy of sorts on Alias, so did that enter into your mind as you were casting her?

Spotnitz: Not really. I mean, I’d seen Melissa in Alias and In Treatment. We looked really hard. It was really hard to cast. We saw 200 actresses right for this part. And we had amazing actresses from London, L.A., and Australia. But I will tell you honestly, the moment—she put herself on tape in L.A.—the moment I saw her, I knew she was the right one. I knew it. And the reason is, as good as those actresses were, it’s a deceptively hard part to play. You have to be beautiful, you have to be believably physical, but then there’s the acting challenge of it because she is this cold, remote person. So many of the actresses we saw that’s all you saw: cold, remote, hard. You could see why they’d make that choice, but that’s not interesting. That’s not somebody I’d want to watch week after week. Melissa, from that very first self-tape, had the cold remote wall, but then you saw behind that there was a real human being with vulnerabilities and internal struggle. I don’t know how she does it.

Snakkle: Does she have anyone who’s her sounding board?

Spotnitz: Well, that was the really hard thing. We talked a lot about this—she has no sounding board.

Snakkle: That’s impossible! Poor Sam! Is there anybody that we could see the possibility of her trusting at some point?

Spotnitz: At the beginning of the show, she’s falling in love with this guy, Aidan Marsh, played by Adam Rayner, a wonderful Welsh actor, and then she’s betrayed right away. And he seems like the most likely person to have betrayed her. I think you’re hoping that she’s wrong and he didn’t betray her, that they can get back to that place they were in the beginning of the show when they were in love, but you just, you as a viewer you aren’t sure whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. I felt like to maintain the maximum paranoia and anxiety for her and her safety, I didn’t want to give her safe harbor with the best friend or the psychiatrist. And it was a real challenge.

Snakkle: Much like Breaking Bad, created by your friend Vince Gilligan, it’s a dicey proposition to have somebody so unlikable as your hero. Walter White is unlikable. He’s almost inhuman at this point; he’s completely turned into an antihero. Were you worried Sam would be too unlikable?

Spotnitz: Breaking Bad is one of my all-time favorites. I think it’s just great, but Sam’s actually on a path to becoming more and more human, and more and more vulnerable and open. It’s very moving to watch this woman who was so cold, and there’s like this crack, and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and she starts to care more and more. The irony of it is that caring is bad because you’re a spy. You can’t do that. You have to just do your job, follow orders. There’s a little boy that she has to tutor and nanny, and she really cares about this little boy. And she can’t do that. It gets her into trouble. I think the good news is, as hard as this was to launch and as worried as we were about audience engagement, if you stay with it, I feel pretty confident the emotional connections are going to get deeper.

Snakkle: What has been the reaction from the people you’ve shown it to so far?

Spotnitz: It’s been great, but I don’t count on anything. I know you can do a show you’re really proud of and then you just never know what’s going to happen in the world. But one of the things that’s given me confidence or cause for optimism is that we had two broadcasters: We were doing this for BBC-1 in the U.K. and for Cinemax here in the U.S. I was delighted to have all those resources. They couldn’t be more different broadcasters, but I’d say uniformly their responses to the scripts and the cuts of the show have been the same.

Snakkle: You guys got to shoot in some amazing places, right?

Spotnitz: We did. We shot in Morocco, London, Scotland, and then briefly in Wales. And there’s no soundstages. It’s all location. You really see London in a way that it’s rarely seen. It was expensive and a big commitment by Kudos to go invest in seeing that, but I think that you see the results.

Snakkle: When you’re doing a spy thing, it’s really hard to be believable when you have to pretend a backlot is Chinatown, or whatever the location may be.

Spotnitz: Exactly.

Snakkle: You need to go to those locations to make everything feel authentic, and I don’t think you’ve really had that opportunity on your other TV shows. Must have been amazing.

Spotnitz: I so agree with you. I think that was so important to the show to make it feel real. Give it that cinematic value. Especially now because TV is so sophisticated and, you know, you flip the dial and you’re watching a $50-80 million movie.

Snakkle: I know this is a weird question to ask, but is there anything you’re worried that won’t click with the audience?

Spotnitz: I’m worried about everything.

Snakkle: No, Frank, no!

Spotnitz: I’m worried about everything. I mean, but I feel incredibly blessed too, because we had fantastic directors, great crew—English crews are amazing. They are so dedicated, and their artistry is enormous, and they were given a chance to do things they rarely get to do because of the resources we had. And that was a joy. And the English actors! I hadn’t realized how good they were until I saw them from the inside. As a writer, seeing them say your lines—how thoughtful they are about literally every word and the best way to say it. You really appreciate the depth of their talent. So I feel really good about all the collaborators that we had doing this. But it’s always a gamble.

Snakkle: So they’re showing Hunted on Cinemax (owned by HBO) in the U.S. Was that a strange pairing for you? Or were you aware that they were trying to break into more of that scripted original programming that’s on par with HBO?

Spotnitz: You know, the funny piece of odd luck was that I came to London to do Hunted and I had six months to wait around to see if the BBC was going to do it or not. I said, I have to make some money and do something, so I got an agent and the next day she calls me and says, Oh, I got a job for you already. There’s this show Strike Back, and they were trying to get Cinemax on board as coproducers, and so I came just as a writer for hire. I wrote the first two episodes, then I ended up writing the next two episodes. And then Cinemax said, what else you have?

Snakkle: That’s great.

Spotnitz: I said, as it happens, we’re doing a show with the BBC called Hunted and they came on board, so it was really completely by accident and luck that they joined us, but you know the great thing is you got the resources and the intelligence to the taste of HBO and they’re trying to launch this new original programming for Cinemax and I think they’re still finding out what Cinemax is and all the things it can be. Strike Back was very successful for them, and I think they’re hoping this will be at least as successful.

Snakkle: I just want to touch on this briefly because the fans will skin me if I don’t ask you. A couple months ago you posted on your blog… it was kind of a little love letter to fans about not giving up hope on a third X-Files movie.

Spotnitz: Yes.

Snakkle: Do you really still hold out that hope, and if so, do you have anything you can share with us to keep the hope burning?

Spotnitz: I do. I actually feel the pressure of time now, and if this is going to happen, there’s got to be a script in the next year and a half.

Snakkle: Fingers crossed!

Spotnitz: But I still have faith. I mean, there’s such a powerful argument for it, and I think if I could just get the right stars to align, it could still happen. I actually just emailed David Duchovny this morning about this very topic, so I can’t say anything now—because I won’t be able to say anything good or bad until long after it’s decided—but I’ve not stopped trying.

 

Hunted premieres on Cinemax on Friday, October 19, at 10 p.m.

ScienceFiction.com: Gillian Anderson Brings Hope For An ‘X-Files 3’ Film

Aug-28-2012
Gillian Anderson Brings Hope For An ‘X-Files 3’ Film
ScienceFiction.com
Janice Kay

[Original article]

Ever since the release of ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’ 4 years ago, fans have been clamoring for a third ‘X-Files’ film, mainly to redeem the franchise from that last film. Everyone from the stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, to the producer, Frank Spotnitz, and creator Chris Carter seem to be on board. Everyone, that is, except Fox. Now it seems something is progressing as Gillian Anderson gave some news that has X-Philes rather excited.

Anderson was in Toronto as part of a panel at the Fan Expo Canada last weekend. According to a tweet from X-Files News who was at the event, a fan had asked about the possibility of a third ‘X-Files’ film. Anderson replied, “I met with (series creator Chris Carter) before coming here and it’s looking pretty good. We (just) have to convince FOX (Studios).”

That may be easier said than done. The TV series became highly successful during its nine year run and fans of the show flocked to see the movie version in theaters earning ‘The X-Files: Fight The Future’ $189 million at the box officeworldwide. Of course it had the advantage of being released during its TV run. ‘The X-Files: I Want to Believe’, however, was released 6 years after the show was cancelled and failed to attract the same interest only earning $68 million worldwide, so convincing the studios to put money into this franchise may be a hard sell.

In an interview with Collider earlier this month, Duchovny had his own explanation as to why the second ‘X-Files’ film didn’t do so well:

“One of the greatnesses of the show was its open-endedness.  It was about possibility.  It wasn’t about closure.  It just couldn’t be.  There is no such thing as that story ever ending.  Those characters are forever searching.  That’s what they do.  Even if we’re not watching them, they’re out there, in some dimension.  Mulder and Scully are still doing their thing ‘cause that’s their nature.

I would love to do another film, or more.  I think we’re all game for it.  I know I’m kind of perplexed that Fox isn’t more (enthusiastic).  Here’s a homegrown property that you don’t have to go buy, like fuckin’ ‘Green Lantern’ or something, to make it.  Here you’ve got an actual action franchise that’s your own.  It’s weird to me, but I’m not an executive. … Why not make a homegrown franchise that is excellent, and that has proven to be excellent and interesting?”  I don’t get it, but that’s not my business.

I think Chris (Carter) is probably working on an idea, so we’ll see.  Unfortunately, with the last one, they didn’t spend the money to compete in a summer fashion, and they brought it out in the summer.  It should be a summer film.  It should be an action film.  But, the last one we made was not.  The last one we made was a dark, contemplative, small $25 million film.  It was basically an independent film.  When you come out against ‘Batman,’ it’s not going to happen.”

Hopefully we’ll know pretty soon what Carter has up his sleeve that has made Anderson excited enough to be able to make an announcement as she did! After all, interest in the franchise still remains high even after all these years.

What do you think? Would you want to see a third ‘The X-Files’ film?

Inquirer: David Duchovny talks about ‘Californication’ and Marilyn Manson

Aug-17-2012
David Duchovny talks about ‘Californication’ and Marilyn Manson
Inquirer
Ruben V. Nepales

[Original article]

LOS ANGELES—“He was dressed better than me,” said David Duchovny, wearing a polo shirt and slacks, about Jon Hamm, whom we just interviewed. The “Mad Men” actor wore a suit. “I saw him.” He joked, “I didn’t like that.”

Settling down into a chair, David said he just wrapped shooting Season Six of his TV series, “Californication,” where he plays Hank Moody, a hedonistic novelist. He confirmed that rocker Marilyn Manson will make appearances in the series. “Manson is a big fan of the show,” he disclosed. “Apparently, he signs into hotels as Hank Moody, which I find funny.” He quipped, “Coincidentally, I sign in as Marilyn Manson.”

The star explained how the rocker with the dramatic Goth make-up ended up on “Californication.” “He’s been in touch with Tom Kapinos, our show runner for years,” David explained. “They’ve been trying to work him in.”

The actor also noted for his FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder character on his previous series, “The X-Files,” added, “Hank goes into the rock ‘n’ roll world. The main guest star is this guy named Tim Minchin (he plays Atticus). He’s very talented. This position doesn’t really exist in America, but he’s a political humorist-musician. Tim writes political, philosophical and funny songs, and performs them quite powerfully. He’s the rock ‘n’ roller I’m palling around with, because I’m trying to write a rock opera for him from a book that I’ve written that he loves.”

David said, “Anyway, since Tim plays a rock star in that fictional world, he’s friends with Manson.” He said with a grin, “So, Manson just shows up every now and then.”

The Yale- and Princeton-educated actor said that his recent “biggest thrill” was that he started playing guitar about nine months ago. “Tom Kapinos started writing into the show that I’m playing guitar,” he said.

Fledgling guitarist

The fledgling guitarist sounded excited about shooting the show’s finale at the Greek Theater in LA. “It was a big concert for Tim’s character,” he recounted. “Manson also came and performed.”

Rock also dominated the series’ recent season-wrap party. David disclosed, “I got to play one of the backup guitars for Manson as he sang ‘Hotel California.’ I found it touching that he would do that for us. He appears to be a monster, but he’s actually sweet.”

The actor dished that men who think they are like his sexy, rakish character would try to tell him stories. “People think that they’re Hank Moody, and they want to tell me,” he said. “If they are under 30, I think, OK. If they are over 30, I think, no, that’s a problem. If they are 70 and they think they are Hank Moody, I go, ‘OK, cool—good for you.’ So there’s like a window—between 30 and 70, you’re in trouble if you’re acting that way.”

He talked about how the show’s characters have evolved. “It’s interesting that in the first three years of the show, Hank was the wildcard in his world,” David began. “He was the person who would go into a situation and create havoc. Then, a subtle shift happened in the last couple of years, where everybody around Hank seems crazier than he is. So, all of a sudden, Hank becomes the calmest, the voice of reason on the show.”

Relationship

“For me, the show is always about going back to the family and the relationship between my character and those of Natascha McElhone (Karen) and Maddy Martin (Becca). We can spin off into absurd scenarios and the craziness that we do, but what has made the show last is that it has heart at its center—this family, love story or father-daughter relationship.”

The New York native laughed off talk that he and his “The X-Files” co-star, Gillian Anderson are living together. “Gillian and I have been trading e-mails,” he volunteered. “Very funny. I wish I could show the thread where I wrote, ‘I’m very sorry for leaving the toilet seat up. I didn’t know you were living with me. Where are you exactly in the house?’ I just haven’t found her yet. So, it’s not true.”

David confirmed that he’s still married to actress Tea Leoni, but they are separated. Asked about the tattoo on his ring finger, he explained that it was a substitute for an actual wedding ring. “Because I would always take a ring off at work,” he said. “I don’t like wearing jewelry. So, I got this (tattoo) instead of a wedding ring.”

The 52-year-old actor sounded optimistic about another “The X-Files” movie. “I hope so (it happens),” he said. “I rent one of (creator) Chris Carter’s many homes when I’m shooting in LA.  He says he’s going to have a script. We’re all eagerly awaiting what he’s got up his sleeve.”

On his former students at Yale, where he taught English, David said, “They get in touch with me sometimes. Because of the social media, nobody can hide. One of them has become a pretty well-known writer. I taught him expositional writing. He’s a respected novelist. I had nothing to do with that.”

Collider.com: David Duchovny Talks About a Possible Third THE X-FILES Movie and What Went Wrong with THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE

Aug-09-2012
David Duchovny Talks About a Possible Third THE X-FILES Movie and What Went Wrong with THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
Collider.com
Christina Radish

[Original article]

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to sit down with David Duchovny at the members-only Soho House in West Hollywood to chat about his indie feature Goats.  In the comedy, he plays Goat Man, a goat-herding sage who has lived with Ellis (Graham Phillips) and his New Age hippie mother (Vera Farmiga) since Ellis was a child, teaching him the meaning of expanding one’s mind.

While we will run the full interview tomorrow, we did want to share what Duchovny had to say about the possibility of a third The X-Files movie, especially after what writer/producer Frank Spotnitz told me about it a week ago.  Clearly up for it, he said that he doesn’t understand why Fox isn’t more enthusiastic to get it going, when it’s a homegrown action franchise that they own, and he talked about where he thinks the second film went wrong.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Collider: When I spoke to Frank Spotnitz about a week ago, he said that he feels it’s a cultural crime that you guys haven’t gotten to finish The X-Files story, and that he doesn’t think it’s too late to do, but that it will be, if it’s not done soon.  How do you feel about it, at this point?  Have you closed the book on The X-Files, or would you like to continue it with a third film?

DAVID DUCHOVNY:  Do you know something I don’t know?  Am I dying?  No.  That book doesn’t close until somebody dies, really.  One of the greatnesses of the show was its open-endedness.  It was about possibility.  It wasn’t about closure.  It just couldn’t be.  There is no such thing as that story ever ending.  Those characters are forever searching.  That’s what they do.  Even if we’re not watching them, they’re out there, in some dimension.  Mulder and Scully are still doing their thing ‘cause that’s their nature.

I would love to do another film, or more.  I think we’re all game for it.  I know I’m kind of perplexed that Fox isn’t more [enthusiastic].  Here’s a homegrown property that you don’t have to go buy, like fuckin’ Green Lantern or something, to make it.  Here you’ve got an actual action franchise that’s your own.  It’s weird to me, but I’m not an executive.  I don’t know if they made the Green Lantern either, but I’m just using that as an example of, “Why make that film?  Why not make a homegrown franchise that is excellent, and that has proven to be excellent and interesting?”  I don’t get it, but that’s not my business.

I think Chris [Carter] is probably working on an idea, so we’ll see.  Unfortunately, with the last one, they didn’t spend the money to compete in a summer fashion, and they brought it out in the summer.  It should be a summer film.  It should be an action film.  But, the last one we made was not.  The last one we made was a dark, contemplative, small $25 million film.  It was basically an independent film.  When you come out against Batman, it’s not going to happen.  You’re not going to be sold as an independent film, and you’re not going to compete against Batman with $25 million. 

CultBox: Frank Spotnitz (‘The X-Files’) interview

Aug-07-2012
Frank Spotnitz (‘The X-Files’) interview
CultBox
William Martin

[Original article]

CultBox caught up with The X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz today to chat about his new spy drama series, Hunted.

From the makers of Spooks, the eight-part series begins on BBC One this autumn and stars Melissa George (Grey’s Anatomy) as a highly skilled operative for an elite private intelligence firm.

Best known for writing nearly 50 episodes of The X-Files, Spotnitz was also co-executive producer of Millennium and co-wrote both The X-Files movies.

Our full interview will go up next month, but in the meantime here’s what Frank had to say on the subject of The X-Files

Were you disappointed that it’s not been possible to make a third X-Files film focusing on the 2012 alien invasion to be released this year?

“Yes, I’m hugely frustrated to be honest! The studio wanted the second movie to be more of a low-budget ‘story of the week’ and I’m proud of that film, but I think what we learnt is that that’s not what the audience wants. To the movie-going audience The X-Files means aliens.

“I think it’s one of the great franchises in television history and it hasn’t been given an ending. I think that’s shameful. I know there is a great movie story to be told with these characters that would bring an end to the saga and I think it’s wrong that they haven’t done that.

“They’re running out of time. I don’t think it’s too late, but it’s going to be pretty soon. I’ve been saying for four years now that they should end this story the way it deserves.”

Would a third movie be a final conclusion then?

“Yeah, I think it would end the story. The aliens were prophesised to be coming back in December 2012 and ideally this movie would have been made to be released by that date, but I’ve never stopped talking to [the show’s creator] Chris Carter and we have a way to do it still. I would still jump at the chance to do it!”

How long have you been living in the UK now?

“I’ve been here two years and I’ve consumed as much British drama as I could! There’s so much that it’s almost embarrassing how much good stuff you guys do here. I loved The Shadow Line, Any Human Heart, so many other shows… I feel very proud to be associated in any way with the BBC.”

Are you fan of any British cult TV shows like Doctor Who, Being Human, Misfits, etc.?

“I love all of those; my children love Doctor Who in particular.”

Would you like to write a Doctor Who episode at some point?

“I’m so intimidated by it because it has such a rich heritage. I would need to just lock myself in a room and watch 100 episodes to determine whether I could add anything to it, but I think it’s superb, yes!”

Collider.com: Writer/Producer Frank Spotnitz Talks His Desire to Make a Third X-FILES Movie and the Possibility of a MILLENNIUM Movie

Aug-02-2012

Writer/Producer Frank Spotnitz Talks His Desire to Make a Third X-FILES Movie and the Possibility of a MILLENNIUM Movie

Collider.com

Christina Radish

[Original article]

The X-Files writer/producer Frank Spotnitz has created the compelling eight-episode international espionage series Hunted for Cinemax, to premiere on October 26th.  The story follows Sam Hunter (Melissa George), a skilled operative for Byzantium, a secretive private firm involved in global intelligence and espionage, that may have personally been responsible for orchestrating an attempt on her life, leaving her with no idea who to trust.

While at the TCA Press Tour, Collider spoke to Frank Spotnitz for this exclusive interview.  We will run what he had to say about that series closer to its premiere, but we did want to share what his comments about whether he still wants to do a third The X-Filesmovie, why it would be a cultural crime not to finish the series, how it would need to happen pretty soon, and what he’s most happy about when he looks back at his work on the series and movies.  He also talked about what it might take for a Millennium movie to happen.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Collider: Do you feel like you’ve closed the book now on The X-Files, or is there still another chapter to tell there?  Do you still want to do a third movie?

FRANK SPOTNITZ:  I absolutely do!  I think everybody should write to 20th Century Fox.  I’ve been saying for years now that I feel it’s a cultural crime that they have not finished the series.  The second movie did not perform the way anybody wanted it to at the box office.  I’m proud of that movie, but it makes sense to me that it didn’t.  It was released at the height of summer, and it was a story-of-the-week.  That’s not what the movie-going audience wanted.  The movie-going audience wanted the aliens.  That’s what they know The X-Files for.  And that story is not done, and it should be finished.  I don’t think it’s too late, but I think it’s gonna be, pretty soon.  I’m still agitating with everyone I can grab to say, “Let’s make this movie while we still can!”

When you look back at the time you spent making the show and the movies, what are you happiest about, and are there things you still wish you could go back and change?

SPOTNITZ:  Oh, yeah, always!  Unfortunately, my personality is that way.  It’s true with Hunted, too.  I’m like, “Oh, that’s good, but this wasn’t good enough.”  I just look to what I consider failures.  Other people might be like, “Oh, that was great,” but I’ll be like, “No, to me, that was not.”  I’m sure with The X-Files, there are plenty of things that I wish had been better.  But, The X-Files was the central experience of my professional life.  It was my first job in television.  It taught me everything that I’ve taken with me since, and it was a huge success.  I just feel so blessed to have something like that in my life.  How many people get to be a part of something like that?  I really made a lot of close friendships, with Chris Carter and Vince Gilligan, and I’m still friends with a lot of the actors.  I still see Gillian [Anderson] and talk to David [Duchovny].  It’s a treasure and a blessing to have something like that. 

Lance Henriksen recently talked about his desire to make a Millennium movie.  Is that something you’d like to go back and revisit?

SPOTNITZ:  I would!  It’s a harder case to make for Millennium because Millennium was one of those shows that was a critical darling, but never found the mass audience that it deserved.  But, I get asked about that.  There are amazing fans for both series.  The Millennium guys are publishing a book this summer.  They’re really clever about trying to make this happen.  If they knocked on my door and we could do it, I would absolutely do it, but it’s a tough sell.