San Diego Comic Con (2013)
18 -20 July 2013
With Stan Lee
Gillian Anderson @GillianA 4m
OMG me and my new BFF @TheRealStanLee -GA pic.twitter.com/E06jRS4wfa
A lot of thanks to Philiater, X-Files news and Tv Guide for the AMAZING pictures !
Could it really have been 20 years since agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) hunted down secrets to the universe’s greatest mysteries in The X-Files? Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con is filling up with X-Files fans eager to reminisce on the David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong, but Duchovny and Anderson are rumored to be on site. Will they show? We’ll know shortly, as The X-Files 20th Anniversary Panel is about to begin.
Keep refreshing this page, and we’ll bring you all the latest X-Files news as it happens. Could we get movie talk? The promise of a new season? Anything’s possible.
3:30 Lots of X-Files cosplay as fans filter into Ballroom 20. FBI Agents in smart suits. Theater’s practically full.
3:32 Panel is starting with a TV Guide montage of covers. They must be sponsors of this panel? Supernatural, of all things, gets the loudest response UNTIL we get to the various X-Files covers. Now fans are getting into it.
3:34 « Jeremiah was a bullfrog! » Michael Schneider from TV Guide is our moderator, and he’s walking us all the way back to 1993, when The X-Files started competing with Matlock and Murder, She Wrote. Carter is being lauded as the leader of the odd, genre fans. Hard to argue.
3:37 The X-Files writers have moved on to major projects, from Breaking Bad to Homeland. I’ll be honest, I’m freaking out a little that Vince « Breaking Bad » Gilligan is here. The fans are giving the writers a huge response, connecting to the different X-Files episodes that these guys contributed to. Morgan and Wong get great responses, but Gilligan’s response is HUGE in this room. At least, until Carter comes out. He steps on stage and starts taking pictures of the audience.
3:39 Here some a montage of past footage, starting with the show’s theme song! « The truth is out there! »
3:41 Before the lights come back on, we see two flashlights on the stage … it’s DUCHOVNY AND ANDERSON!!! This place erupts!
3:43 Carter reflects on the early days, when Fox wasn’t that interested in the show. ANderson says that 20 years later, the one thing she didn’t know is that Mulder was so cool. The conversation comes around as to whether they ever got together as a couple. « Well, something happened, » Anderson jokes. « Because we had a child. » A Twitter question comes in about the infamous Mulder-and-Scully sex scene. Anderson confirms that they shot it, and then gets very embarrassed before Carter can confirm if we’ll ever see that scene.
3:46 Gilligan and Howard Gordon are asked what he learned while working on the show. « There’d be no Breaking Bad without The X-Files, » he admits, talking about all of the things he learned about storytelling and production. Duchovny is asked about moving on to other projects, but he says he always thought that this whole crew would keep coming back to do X-Files every few years. When Carter is asked about a possible X-Files 3, he says, « We can talk about it later. » When pressed on it, Anderson says, « A movie would be great. »
3:51 They start talking about the ongoing X-FIles comic book, though Carter says that very little of that — even though it’s called Season 10 — fits into X-Files canon. He says they exist as comic-book properties. And wouldn’t fit into any future stories. When Carter is asked, again, about a movie, he deflects. I have the feeling this back-and-forth will go on for the rest of the hour.
3:53 Cool geek moment when the boy who played Mulder and Scully’s baby, William, comes on stage. He was the young son of one of the writers. Carter is asked where William would be in 2013. « He’s in rehab, » Anderson shouts.
3:55 The writers start talking about The Lone Gunmen, and whether or not they wished that they met a different fate. Glen Morgan and Jim Wong reminisce about the legendary episode Home, and they all kind of admit that they have no regrets about the way the network treated the show, or its spinoffs. Morgan went in-depth about the inspiration for Home. Would you believe that it involved Charlie Chaplin’s vaudeville days? And a story about a young boy with no arms? That’s an ongoing theme of this panel … of how X-Files episodes came from the strangest of places. As you might have guessed.
4:00 The cast is coming up with their favorite moments. Duchovny says the dance from Post-Modern Prometheus remains his favorite. Anderson says the scene that now has become known as « The Conversation on the Rock » is her favorite, though she admits that she can’t remember the details about it. Duchonvy reminds her it’s the scene where he says he wishes he could have been born without a leg, but even that tidbit doesn’t jog her memory. It has been 20 years, after all!
4:03 In a conversation about guest stars over the years, Gilligan remembers that Bryan Cranston guest starred in a season six episode called Drive, and he says working with him on that kept the actor top of mind when he started thinking about Walter White and Breaking Bad. Yet another reason why the award-winning drama might not exist without X-Files.
4:08 The cast and crew are naming their favorite villains and creatures from the show. When Anderson struggles once again to come up with a name or actual description of a character who eventually is identified as The Bounty Hunter, Wong jokes, « Did you ever actually watch the show? »
4:10 Time for audience questions! If Mulder and Scully went on a real-life date, what would they do on that date? « Have sex, » says Anderson. « Then maybe dinner? » Duchovny follows, with perfect timing.
4:11 Was there a Monster-Of-The-Week that they imagined but never was able to get on screen? Gilligan tells a good story about working with Drew Barrymore on Home Fries, which he wrote, and he wanted to pull her in for a story that used some of her Firestarter powers … but it never came to fruition. The conversation, from there, swings back around to Mulder and Scully’s relationship, and it’s pretty clear this audience wants as many details as they can get on Mulder and Scully sex. After several hoots from the audience, Duchovny deadpans, « Oh, you want that right now? » He is killing this panel with his one-off one liners. Hollywood, use Duchovny more!
4:17 Questions go slightly off the rails, with one woman questioning Carter as to why he felt the need to weave religion into and another woman asking Anderson to talk about Terence Davies’ The House of Mirth. Duchovny is asked where was his favorite place to shoot, Vancouver or Los Angeles? After 20 years, I thought we’d get better questions than locations, but the crowd drives the panel. 4:25 The fans finally are getting back around to episode specifics, and it’s very fun to hear the writers talk about their inspirations for some of the X-Files‘ most memorable characters. The last girl to ask a question thanks these guys for all coming out, because they don’t normally do the « festival circuit. » Then Anderson is asked what brought her back to TV for The Fall on The BBC and Hannibal for NBC, but she says it really is just an issue of timing and an interest in the material.
The moderator asks if Duchovny and Anderson will ever share a scene in a different project. « Apparently not, » Anderson says, with Duchovny admitting that there’s something sacred to their roles, and he can’t think of a project that would break that chemistry.
The moderator tries ONE MORE TIME to get Carter to tell us about a possible third film. Carter says that he needs to see a reason to dive back into this world again, and seeing all of these people in one room celebrating the power and influence of The X-Files has him thinking … but he doesn’t confirm anything. At all. As the panel closes, Anderson offers to sell a cardboard standup of Mulder and Scully that’s on the stage for charity. The audience shouts out bids, and it gets near $3,000. « This is how we’re going to get the movie made, » Duchovny jokes. « This is our Kickstarter! » Anderson shouts. And with that, the panel closes. Fans obviously loved seeing Carter on stage with his original series stars, but I think the panel went a long way toward reminding us of the creative influence of X-Files, as Carter’s writers’ room has gone on to create some of today’s most memorable television programs. We’ll see you in 20 more years for the 40th anniversary!
So here we are for the highlight of today’s lineup in Ballroom 20, The X-Files
reunion panel. Surprisingly a large number of people left after the last panel for Sherlock
– the kids of today, eh? – which is good news for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently outside today.
Well, « patiently » is an assumption I suppose.
For me, this is one of the most exciting panels to have been scheduled at Comic-Con in the last few years. The X-Files
was an immense part of my childhood and absolutely set the blueprint for pretty much every genre show you see on TV right now.
I’m sure the issue of favourite episodes will come up in the panel, but you’d be hard pressed to find many better episodes of any TV show than ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ from season three.
Sadly I think Duchovny and Anderson are the only cast members on today’s panel. It would have been nice to see Mitch Pileggi (who has a recurring role on clone-show Supernatural
), Nicholas Lea and of course that big naughty old fag smoker.
Probably another five minutes or so until they all come on stage to Catatonia’s ‘Road Rage’.
Cheers as a life-size cardboard cutout of Mulder holding Scully is inexplicably wheeled out onto the stage.
Lights down for an advert for TV Guide
, which is sponsoring the panel.
Michael Schneider, « TV Guide Magazine Los Angeles bureau chief » (what a mouthful), is the moderator for this panel. He’s slipped in a Murder, She Wrote
reference already. By my count that takes The Angela Lansbury Tally for today up to three so far.
On the panel: producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong, plus Carter, Duchovny and Anderson.
This really is a star-studded lineup of producers.
Chris Carter comes out brandishing a camera and takes a snap of the crowd.
Before we get Mulder and Scully, clip time.
It was actually just the opening sequence but with the lights still down at the end, Mulder and Scully come out on the blackened stage WITH TORCHES! Incredible cheers from the crowd.
Of the aliens’ prophecised invasion at the end of 2012, Carter: « They came and they’re just… delaying their entrance. »
« I’ve told this story a million times, » says Carter, before explaining how Fox picked up the show.
How do they look back on the show 20 years later? Anderson: « I guess I didn’t realise that Mulder was so cool until a few years later. Then I thought ‘damn, should have gone there sooner.’ Oh, am I supposed to behave myself? » Duchovny: « No, go on, please. »
Will we ever get the Mulder-Scully sex scene? Anderson: « We shot it. It’s somewhere. » She turns to Duchovny. « I bet you’ve said that before. »
Gilligan: « There would be no Breaking Bad
without The X-Files. I started off my association with The X-Files as a fan. I love dit and when the opportunity arose for me to write for it, I felt very lucky. I learned everything I know about producing and writing for television from this job. I was lucky to be part of it. »
Gordon: « I did learn a tremendous amount. It was a group of people who taught each other, and figured out on the fly. I carried it with me and I think about it still. »
Why do they want to keep doing it? Duchovny: « I always thought the show had any possibility. It was so flexible and could encompass so many ideas. We could do it forever. We will. As much as we can. »
is coming back for a limited TV run, would they want to do that? Anderson: « No. But a film would be great. »
How would the show look in 2013? Carter: « Not all that different. The show is very dark by design. The technology has changed and that would affect some things, but I think what we did is what we’d do now. »
Shiban’s son played Scully’s baby in season eight. « He’s here today actually! » Anderson: « He looks like me. »
The season ten comic book just came out – how canon is it? Carter: « It’s a comic book series, so the stories are more comic booky. We wanted to make it true to the characters. They’re good on their own. They’re called season ten. »
Would we see Doggett and Rayes again on the big screen? Carter: « I think that’s a trick question. »
Any regrets killing The Lone Gunmen? Shiban: « They’re great characters. When it came the time that the spinoff series was not picked up, that’s when the discussions started. We wanted to give them closure. Their death came up and some of us were for it, some were against it. It was an honourable death. »
Are they tired of talking about ‘Home’? Morgan gives a very long recollection about how he came up with the idea of the episode, including reference to a film involving brotherly incest and Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography.
Anderson checks an imaginary watch. This anecdote now involves otters from Sea World.
Fave Mulder-Scully moments. Duchovny: « I like the one from Post-Modern Prometheus when we got up to dance. It had a great feeling to it. » Anderson: « Someone recently told me about the conversation on the rock. I don’t actually remember it. » Duchovny: « I think it’s where I said I wish I was born with one leg. » Anderson: « Okay. »
Fave baddie? Gilligan: « Gosh, so many. He’s not a bad guy at all really, but the wonderful character played by Peter Boyle, Clyde Bruckman. He was not the bad guy but the engine of the story. »
Gilligan: « I did an episode with Bryan Cranston at the beginning of season six, ‘Drive’. Meeting him and working with him was fruitful for me personally. »
Krycek comes up. Gordon: « He was mostly someone to fill space in Gillian’s maternity leave. He was a stop-gap who grew into this wonderful character who lost so much, including his arm. »
G.Morgan: « Eugene Victor Tooms. » Applause.
Anderson: « I was also gonna say Tooms, but then the oil guy. Who was he? The big guy? » Carter: « Did you watch the show? »
Carter: « The peacock brothers, but actually I’m just going to take the opportunity to give a nod to John Neville, who played the well-manicured man. He died in the last couple years and he was an amazing asset to the show. »
Audience Q&A. If Mulder and Scully went on a date, what would they do? Anderson: « Have sex. » Duchovny: « Then maybe dinner? »
Was there a scene that Anderson was unable to shoot? And a request for dialogue. Anderson: « Are there kids in the audience? »
Was there a monster of the week that never made it to air? Gilligan: « I asked Drew Barrymore to be in the show. I was going to do this character where she had the amazing godlike power over people, children in the cornfield. But it never happened. »
Was there a moment where they thought the two characters were in love? Carter: « I think it’s when you first walked into his office in the basement. »
How important do they think having a strong female lead was for the entire genre? Anderson: « In terms of the feedback I’ve gotten from women the last couple of decades, Scully had quite a huge impact on people. There are aspects of her personality, her personal strength… she was also a decent human being. »
Carter: « Scully was kind of my fantasy woman. She’s strong and smart and opinionated, resourceful and tough. »
Why was there a spiritual/religious aspect to Scully’s character? Carter: « She was a scientist, but that made her character slightly one-dimensional. If she had a religious upbringing, it was always tearing at her that she had this side of her that was irrational. »
Question about the show’s influence on the genre. Carter: « People credit us with making popular this mythology formula, that you could have a show that had a serialised quality. There was a show called Wiseguy that was serialised long before us. But I think that we showed that you could actually have a spine to the show, which was an ongoing storyline, that people would come back to week after week. »
Better to shoot in Vancouver or LA? Duchovny: « We grew up as a show in Vancouver, it all came together there, so nostalgically for me, that will always be The X-Files’s home. The energy of beginnings and getting to know all these people, it was all one piece. » Anderson: « I think I have to agree. In both places we created families, both of them were equally strong and very different. »
Question from a girl who was inspired by Scully to do a Physics Phd. Anderson: « A lot of women have come up to me and told me they went into Physics because of Scully. » Duchovny: « Men often come up to me and say they got into Scully because of me. »
Which episode creeped them out the most? D. Morgan: « Beyond The Sea. Just kiddin. » Carter: « I think seeing Darin in that toilet was pretty creepy. »
What inspired Jose Chung’s From Outer Space? D.Morgan: « The original idea for the episode, which I had before the show started, was the idea of two kids being abducted by aliens, and then a third alien comes down and abducts them all. Jim Wong told me ‘never pitch that idea’ but then he left the show the next season. »
Girl confronts Anderson about her statement that she would never do TV again but then she came back for The Fall
. « It was mostly just because of the time commitment. When the series ended, I didn’t know if I wanted to be on another set again period, just after exhaustion. But after enough time passed and saying no for such a long time to so many things, it was just about timing. When The Fall
came across my desk, it was exactly the type of material I like. I feel very strongly about that piece. Then NBC offered me a short arc on Hannibal
and I said to them from the beginning I wouldn’t do any more than that, but then the character grew on me. »
Will they ever work together again not as Mulder and Scully? Anderson: « Apparently not. » Duchovny: « I’ve always thought there was something not sacred but special about Mulder and Scully. It would have to be something special to cross the line of those characters. »
X-Files 3, when? Carter: « You need a reason to get excited about doing it again, but coming here today and seeing all these people… » I think that’s all we’re getting.
Anderson is now auctioning off the cardboard cutout on stage. She’s bullying people to part with their cash.