After rumors began circulating about the possibility of an “X-Files 3” movie, X-Philes everywhere wanted to believe. FOX’s announcement this week confirmed that the truth was indeed out there.
Thirteen years after the last season of the show, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson confirmed that they will reprise their roles as Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Anderson played an active role in drumming up support through a Twitter campaign last January with the hashtag #XFiles2015. Fans responded with overwhelming support, demanding more X-Files through the Twitter platform. Hints from series creator Chris Carter and FOX surfaced in January when they expressed interest in a possible return to the series. Just days before FOX’s official announcement, TVWise confirmed that Duchovny and Anderson were on board and reported that “According to sources, FOX is aiming to make a ‘big announcement’ just ahead of their upfront presentation in New York City this coming May.”
Fans didn’t have to wait until May. The official statement from FOX on Tuesday, March 24 announced “a thrilling, six-episode event series which will be helmed by creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-inhabiting their roles as iconic FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.” Production is projected to begin this summer.
“I think of it as a 13-year commercial break,” Carter told media sources. “The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.” Not to mention that the show’s criticism of the government is even more relevant now than it was during the show’s launch in 1993. X-Philes were left with little closure with the 2007 movie “I Want to Believe,” but TVWise claims that this limited X-Files revival seeks to tie up loose ends. Chris Carter wrote material for a “10th season” comic book series run, but only time will tell if the new episodes will treat these stories as canon or if the “government denies knowledge” of these recent investigations by Mulder and Scully.
If the re-opening of the X-Files has shown anything, it is the power of social media in the hands of fans. The speed with which talks about a potential return of the show turned into actual confirmations was rapid, and the fact that these talks coincided with Gillian Anderson’s Twitter campaign appears as no coincidence. The Verge also credits Netflix with reviving interest in the show. It made The X-Files available to an audience that missed the show in its prime, as was the case with this reporter. The X-Files was among the earliest shows to enjoy an Internet fan community that included writers and readers of fan fiction and active message board users. The show would sometimes name characters after fans active in the online communities. X-Files fanfiction participation continues with the creation of new stories and the preservation of old ones in online archives. Fans have found other creative outlets for sharing their love of the show, such as this fan’s diorama series on Instagram that lets fans peek in at the interactions between Mulder and Scully action figures in an impressive miniature replica of Mulder’s office. Whether or not the return of the X-Files is a success or failure, the Internet will surely play a role.