As you may have heard, some rumors surfaced this weekend about a possible third "X-Files" movie. Now before I start my rant, you should know that I am a HUGE X-Files fan. It was my passion all through college and well into adulthood, something to which my former co-workers and fellow members of the "Let's Talk X-Files on Our Lunch Hour" club can attest. I truly believe that "The X-Files" changed television for the better and that without it, shows such as "Lost" would never exist.
But over the years, my trust in series creator Chris Carter has waned. He still owes me a hug and a pony for that two-hour series finale that may just as well have been a clip show for all the resolution it provided. And I still get a rage-induced ringing in my ears when I think of the most recent "X-Files" movie, "I Want to Believe." Yeah, I wanted to believe, too, Chris -- I wanted to believe the movie wouldn't be crap and I wouldn't feel like you'd just run into the movie theater and stolen $9.50 out of my hand, you weenie!
Still, though, like Charlie Brown and his damn football, the idea of a third "X-Files" movie makes me happy. But a few important things need to happen before I'll believe it'll be good. To wit:
1. Hire a professional screenwriter who will spend more than 10 days writing the script. -- I remember when the first "X-Files" movie came out, Carter boasted that it had only taken him 10 days to write the script. And then for this most recent movie, he used a script that had been lying around unused for a few years. Please, for the love of all things holy, take time and write a good script. It's important. It's what those in the travel business might call "a road map." It helps you get from point A to point B without running over two-headed dogs and transsexual Frankensteins on the way. Why not bring James Wong and Glen Morgan back? They wrote some of the all-time classic "X-Files" episodes and all they're doing now is making "Final Destination" movies over and over again. Give 'em a call, buy 'em a beer, give 'em a pencil!
2. In fact, why not hire a whole slew of professionals? -- Sometimes, it pays to hire a professional. Like if I need to remove my appendix, I'm probably not going to do it myself. I'll hire someone who's read about it thoroughly online. Same with Chris. The first "X-Files" movie was half-way decent because he got a real, live director to put the thing together. That avoids things like the chase scene in "I Want to Believe" which was so pedestrian I actually checked my watch and started praying for it to end. I've never done that in a "Bourne" movie, which I've heard are directed by directors. Crazy.
3. Lay off the religious symbolism. -- Chris Carter cannot do religious symbolism without putting giant hams in both fists and making every high school freshman embarrassed at its obviousness. We know Scully's Catholic. We know Mulder loves a good stigmata. We know you like to give your pervy yet redemptive priests names like Joseph Crissman but just stop it already! We get it: religious imagery, belief versus reason, religious fervor versus monomaniacal fervor. In fact, let's just not give this next movie any attempted depth at all. Just make it fun -- we'll all be better off and you won't make the Baby Jesus cry.
4. While we're at it, let's stay away from "The X-Files" mythology. -- I'm nearly 100 percent certain that not even Carter knew what the hell was going on at the end of "The X-Files." And I absolutely forgive him for that. When you're trying to keep a show going and the network wants you to stretch it out over nine long seasons, there's going to be some missteps along the way. But now that the show's over, can we just forget about it and pretend all that craziness ever happened? Please?
5. Make it scary but make it funny, too. -- It goes without saying that "The X-Files" could be truly frightening when it wanted to be. I still hesitate before reaching under my bed, wondering if legless, armless Mrs. Peacock is lurking under there. The best episodes, though, always injected a dose of humor into the mix as well. Every Darin Morgan episode, for example, managed to balance some real thrills with some real laughs. And there's no denying that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson shine when they have a range of emotions to play -- who wants to see Gillian moping and weeping for two hours when we could be watching her crack wise about Mexican goat-suckers? Not me.
6. On a related note, give Duchovny and Anderson something to do. -- Duchovny and Anderson were the only redeeming part of "I Want to Believe." They're both good actors and they're even better when you give them something interesting to do. Play up that teamwork, don't split them up for half the movie. They're one of the great duos in contemporary fiction, up there with Holmes and Watson, Batman and Robin, Wooster and Jeeves, Steed and Peel. Audiences like to see them work as a team. Let 'em be awesome together!
Thus endeth my rant.
What do you guys think? Are you keen on another "X-Files" movie? What would you like to see done differently, if anything?