- The X-Files (film)
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rob Bowman Produced by Chris Carter
Screenplay by Chris Carter Story by Chris Carter
Starring David Duchovny
Music by Mark Snow Cinematography Ward Russell Editing by Stephen Mark Studio Ten Thirteen Productions Distributed by 20th Century Fox Release date(s) June 19, 1998 Running time 121 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $66,000,000 Box office $189,176,423
The X-Files (also known as The X-Files: Fight the Future) is a 1998 American science fiction-thriller film written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and directed by Rob Bowman. It is the first feature film based on The X-Files series created by Carter that revolves around a fictional FBI paranormal investigation unit called the X-Files. Four main characters from the television series appear in the film: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi and William B. Davis reprise their respective roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. The film's tagline and sub-title is Fight the Future.
The story follows agents Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson), removed from their usual jobs on the X-Files, and investigating the bombing of a building and the destruction of criminal evidence. They uncover what appears to be a government conspiracy attempting to hide the truth about an alien colonization of Earth. In addition to dealing with mysterious adversaries and unhelpful bosses, the agents face the end of their professional partnership. When Scully is abducted, Mulder goes to Antarctica to rescue her and finds a huge underground laboratory in an alien space craft containing cocooned aliens. The lab is destroyed and he witnesses the alien spacecraft flying off into the distance. At the end of the film, the X-Files unit is reopened. Viewed in the context of The X-Files chronology, the film's story takes place between seasons five (episode The End) and six (episode The Beginning) of the television series, and is based upon the series' extraterrestrial mythology.
Chris Carter decided to make a feature film to explore the show's mythology on a wider scale, as well as appealing to non-fans. He wrote the script with Frank Spotnitz at the end of 1996 and, with a budget from Fox, filming began in 1997, following the end of the show's fourth season. Carter assembled cast and crew from the show, as well as some other, well-known actors such as Blythe Danner and Martin Landau, to begin production on what they termed "Project Blackwood". Mark Snow continued his role as X-Files composer to create the film's score.
The film premiered on June 19, 1998 in the United States, and received mixed reviews from critics. Although some enjoyed the style and effects of the film, others found the plot confusing and viewed it as little more than an extended episode of the series. A sequel, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, was released ten years later.
The film opens in North Texas, 35,000 BC. Entering a cave, a hunter stumbles upon what appears to be a large extraterrestrial lifeform. They fight and the caveman wins, stabbing the creature to death, but is infected by black oil.
In 1998, in small-town Texas, a young boy (Lucas Black) falls down a hole and finds a human skull. As he holds it, black oil seeps out from the ground and slithers up his body until it reaches his head, causing his eyes to turn black. Four firefighters descend into the hole to rescue him but are not seen again. A team of biohazard-suited men arrives on the scene.
Meanwhile, FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) have been assigned to other projects since the closure of the X-Files. They are helping investigate a bomb threat against a federal building in Dallas. Mulder inspects a building across the street from the supposed target and discovers the bomb in a vending machine. Special Agent in Charge Darius Michaud (Terry O'Quinn) stays behind to disarm the bomb as Mulder and Scully evacuate the building. Unknown to the agents, Michaud makes no effort to disarm the bomb, which ultimately detonates.
Returning to Washington, D.C., Mulder and Scully are chastised because, in addition to Michaud, five people were apparently still in the building during the bombing. They are scheduled separate hearings at which their job performances will be evaluated. That evening, Mulder encounters a paranoid doctor, Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau), who explains that the five victims were already dead, and that the bomb was allowed to detonate in order to destroy evidence of how they died. At the hospital morgue, Scully is able to examine one of the victims, finding evidence of an alien virus.
Mulder and Scully travel to the crime scene in Texas. On the way they follow a train hauling tanker trucks to a large cornfield surrounding two bright, glowing domes. When they enter the domes, they find them empty, but grates in the floor open up and a thick swarm of bees forces the agents out onto the cornfield. Soon black helicopters appear overhead, chasing them, and the two escape back to Washington.
Upon their return, Mulder unsuccessfully tries to seek help from Kurtzweil, while Scully attends her performance hearing and learns that she is to be transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah. Mulder is devastated to lose Scully as a partner. The two share a tender moment, when Scully is stung by a bee which had lodged itself under her shirt collar. She quickly loses consciousness. Mulder calls for emergency aid but when an ambulance arrives, the driver shoots Mulder in the head and whisks Scully away. Awaking in hospital, Mulder is informed that the bullet only grazed his temple, and leaves with the assistance of The Lone Gunmen. He then meets a former adversary, the Well-Manicured Man (John Neville), who gives him Scully's location in Antarctica along with a vaccine to combat the virus that has infected her. The Well-Manicured Man is then killed in a car bomb, before his betrayal of The Syndicate is discovered.
Mulder travels to Antarctica to save Scully, and discovers a secret underground laboratory run by their enemy, the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis). Mulder uses the vaccine to revive Scully, disrupting the stable environment of the lab and reviving the cocooned aliens. The lab is destroyed just after Mulder and Scully escape to the surface. It turns out to be part of a huge alien vessel lying dormant beneath the snow; the vessel leaves its underground port and launches into the sky. Mulder watches the ship fly directly overhead and disappear into the distance, as Scully regains consciousness.
Some time later, Mulder and Scully attend a hearing where their testimony is ignored, and the evidence covered up. The only remaining proof of their ordeal is the bee that stung Scully, collected by the Lone Gunmen. She hands it over, noting that the FBI does not currently have an investigative unit qualified to pursue the evidence at hand. Later, appalled by the media's cover-up of the incident, Mulder tries to persuade Scully to leave his crusade. She refuses, saying, "If I quit now, they win."
Conception and pre-production
"We wanted it to be true to the TV show, for one thing. We didn't want The X-Files to become something else in the movie, just because we had a bigger budget to work with. Yet, we were also mindful that it had to be a culmination of something for the people who had been watching the show for five years, as well as an introduction of these characters and this story to people who hadn't." — Frank Spotnitz talking about the development of The X-Files film.
After five successful seasons, Chris Carter wanted to tell the story of the series on a wider scale, which ultimately meant creating a feature film. He later explained that the main problem was to create a story for which the viewer would not need to be familiar with the show's setting and the various story arcs.
Carter and Frank Spotnitz wrote major parts of the script in Hawaii over Christmas 1996. They used the same method that they had used when writing episodes and sketching out scenes for the series on 3x5 index cards. By the time the Christmas break had ended, the whole narrative for the film had been written. Upon his return from Hawaii, Carter looked for spare time to write the script. He returned to Hawaii and in ten days wrote about half of the 124-page screenplay for the film.
Carter gave 90 pages of the screenplay to Fox who received it well. While not officially greenlighted, he got a budget from Fox and began to make plans as to when and where it would be filmed. Carter then enlisted Daniel Sackheim to produce the film. Sackheim had previously produced the pilot episode of The X-Files and directed several episodes in the first two seasons. The X-Files marked his first contribution as producer to a feature film. Carter's choice for director was Rob Bowman, who had been the series' executive producer and a director before the production base was moved from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
During production, the filmmakers went to great lengths to preserve secrecy, including printing the script on red paper to prevent photocopying, and leaking disinformation to the media and giving the film the codename "Project Blackwood". The code was cracked by fans who speculated on the meaning behind it. According to Spotnitz, "Blackwood" held no particular significance.
At the beginning of the pre-production phase, Carter and Bowman were busy with the television series, leaving Sackheim to work alone. Sackheim hired executive producer Lata Ryan, who had previously collaborated with Steven Spielberg for his 1993 film, Jurassic Park. Once hired, Ryan was allowed to read the script in front of the Ten Thirteen Productions staff members—but not take it away. At this time, most of the staff members had not read the script for themselves. After Ryan accepted the offer of becoming executive producer, Chris Nowak was hired as production designer, Ward Russell as director of photography and Bill Liams as construction coordinator. According to Ryan, they had secured all key personnel six weeks before principal filming began.
Writing and casting
Both Carter and Spotnitz wanted to make the film "bigger" than the series, so they decided to start and end the film at an "extreme place" and explain aspects of the story arc that the show had not. While gathering research materials, they learned that the Earth was once covered with ice and decided to open the film in Texas in 35,000 BC with human "Primitives" as the first characters to appear.
The film included known actors from the show such as David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner and William B. Davis as the Cigarette Smoking Man, as well as new actors and characters to the franchise. These included Martin Landau and Blythe Danner. The signing of these actors broke with what had become tradition for The X-Files. Carter had purposely cast virtually unknown actors for the television series, to make it more believable; "As soon as you put in an actor whose face is very recognizable, you've got a situation that works against the reality of the show." He saw creating the film as a chance to break this rule. He offered Glenne Headly the small role of a barmaid. A fan of the show, she accepted enthusiastically.
Chris Nowak was hired as production designer for the film by Daniel Sackheim. Nowak was a former architect who had worked as a professional theater set designer for eight years, before moving towards the film business as an art director. Nowak had previously worked with Sackheim on a television production, which led to Sackheim contacting him to do an interview for the selection of a production designer. According to Sackheim, Nowak was hired because he was the only one able to create a "focused vision" for the film.
Nowak wanted to start the design process after talking through the story with the filmmakers so that he could formulate "a sense of the atmosphere" which they wanted to create for the film. He wanted to create a "dark, scary and oppressive environment" for the characters, especially Mulder. While familiar with the television series, Nowak decided not to review any episodes as preparation for his role in the production. Explaining this decision, he said, "I wanted the movie to be as fresh and new as possible in its design. Of course, there were some elements from the show that had to be retained."
The design department found all their locations and designed sets in eight weeks, guided by input from the filmmakers. Nowak started by creating artwork for all the major sets and locations, working with the two concept artists Tim Flattery and Jim Martin. Nowak created drafts and sent them to Flattery and Martin who continued to develop them until they were complete. The complete artwork was then presented to Chris Carter, Rob Bowman, Lata Ryan and Sackheim for approval. While considering the time schedule, they made no notable changes to the artwork.
Once the set concepts were approved by Carter, Bowman, Sackheim and Ryan, they were sent to the blueprint stage so that construction of the sets could begin under the supervision of construction coordinator Bill Liams. All the major sets were constructed "simultaneously" because of the schedule. However, this proved to be a challenge for the production team, because it meant they had to pay the rent on all the stages at the same time. The set construction started seven weeks before filming.
Not only could I not have directed the movie as well as Rob Bowman [...] I didn't have the time to even attempt to direct the movie as well as Rob Bowman. Rob is a very collaborative person; and I thought that working with him collaboratively was a much wiser way to approach this than to try to do it myself." — Carter talking about choosing a director for the film.
Chris Carter and Rob Bowman wanted to film in as many different locations as possible to give the film a "grander" feel than what had usually been achievable for the television episodes. Principal photography for the film started on June 16, 1997.
The X-Files was filmed in the hiatus between the show's fourth and fifth seasons and re-shoots were conducted during the filming of the show's fifth season. Due to the demands of the film shoot on the actors' schedules, some episodes of the fifth season did not revolve around both Mulder and Scully but just one of the two lead stars.
Mark Snow, who had worked on the television series as a composer, was hired to score the film. Chris Carter wanted a "very minimal approach" to the music. He did not want much "melody" and wanted to replace it with plain "ambient atmosphere" and "sound design". Snow mixed electronic music with an 85-member orchestra to give the film a "great sense of scope and grandeur."
When creating the music for the film, Snow had a couple of months to write and produce the music, composing the television series simultaneously. The film marked the first time in the history of the franchise that music was composed and recorded with the help of an orchestra, although, according to Snow, there was no significant change in the recording and writing process during the production of the film. The most substantial difference was that Snow used MIDI files to save his musical scores and pieces, which would afterward be sent to a copyist who would take it through one of their programs and eventually give it to the orchestrators.
A novelization was written by Elizabeth Hand. The two soundtracks, The X-Files: Original Motion Picture Score and The X-Files: The Album were both released to home markets in 1998. The X-Files: The Album included the original theme song, "The X-Files" and included a hidden track on which Chris Carter details a summary of The X-Files mythology. The same year as the international theatrical release, the film was released on VHS. The film made its first appearance on DVD on January 24, 2000 in Region 2 and in early 2001 in Region 1. In 2008, producer Frank Spotnitz announced plans to release a new Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray Edition of the movie. "We are working on packing the [re-issued] DVD and Blu-ray releases with as many extras as they will fit, including video and audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, trailers, a new documentary, and several other cool surprises." The Blu-ray version was released on December 2, 2008.
The film grossed US$83,898,313 in the US and US$105,278,110 abroad, giving a total worldwide gross of US$189,176,423. In its opening weekend, showing at 2,629 theaters, it earned $30,138,758 which was 35.9% of its total gross. According to Box Office Mojo, it ranked at #23 for all films released in the US in 1998 and #10 for PG-13 rated films released that year.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 63% of 68 listed film critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of six out of ten. The website wrote of the critics' consensus, "Results may vary for newcomers, but fans of the series will enjoy its big-screen transition." The film had a lower approval rating with the six critics in Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, receiving a 53% approval rating.
Roger Ebert gave a positive review of the film with three out of four stars, saying, "As pure movie, The X-Files more or less works. As a story, it needs a sequel, a prequel, and Cliff Notes." Joyce Millman of Salon was more equivocal, writing, "... You really can't treat "The X-Files" as a movie because it isn't one. It's a two-hour episode of the show," and said it was far from the "most satisfying" of X-Files releases. San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Bob Graham was positive towards the film, calling "David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson [...] enormously sympathetic heroes" Michael O'Sullivan, a reviewer from The Washington Post called the film, "stylish, scary, sardonically funny and at times just plain gross."
Los Angeles Times reviewer Kenneth Turan felt that it was difficult to make sense of the film, saying that it relied too heavily on the series' mythology. Lisa Alspector wrote that "Only two scenes in this spin-off are worth the time of followers of the TV series." Variety reviewer Todd McCarthy remarked, "As it is, the pic serves up set-pieces and a measure of scope that are beyond TV size but remain rather underwhelming by feature standards" Janet Maslin of The New York Times responded negatively towards the film, complaining that it was uneventful and scorning the "hush-hush atmosphere" surrounding the production.
The X-Files has spawned one sequel, a 2008 film entitled The X-Files: I Want to Believe released six years after the cancellation of the series. The film performed modestly at the box office and received a less positive response than the first film. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chris Carter announced that if I Want to Believe proved successful, he would propose that a third movie go back to the television series' mythology and focus on the alien invasion foretold within the series, due to occur on December 22, 2012.
- ^ Duncan 1998, p. 4.
- ^ a b c Carter, Chris, Spotnitz, Frank, Bowman, Rob, Duchovny, David, Anderson, Gillian, Pileggi, Mitch, Sackheim, Daniel, Paris, David, Lombardi, Paul, Epstein, John, McLaglen, Josh, Beck, Mat, Wash, John and Snow, Mark (1998). The Making of The X-Files Movie (DVD). Fox Home Entertainment.
- ^ Duncan 1998, pp. 4-5.
- ^ Duncan 1998, pp. 5-6.
- ^ Duncan 1998, pp. 10-11.
- ^ Duncan 1998, p 11.
- ^ a b Carter, Chris and Bowman, Rob (1998). Audio commentary for The X-Files (DVD). Fox Home Entertainment.
- ^ a b Duncan 1998, p. 18.
- ^ a b c d Duncan 1998, p. 7.
- ^ a b Duncan 1998, p. 6.
- ^ Carter, Chris, Gilligan, Vince, Shiban, John, Haglund, Dean, Manners, Kim, Bowman, Rob, Spotnitz, Frank, Cartwright, Veronica, Rabwin, Paul, Rogers, Mimi and Goodwin, R.W. "Bob" (1998). The Truth Behind Season 5 (DVD). Fox Home Entertainment.
- ^ Goldwasser, Dan (May 27, 2008), "The S Files", Soundtrack.net (SoundtrackNet, LLC), http://www.soundtrack.net/features/article/?id=19, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ a b c "The X-Files (1998)", Box Office Mojo (IMDb.com, Inc), http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=x-filesfightthefuture.htm, retrieved April 3, 2010
- ^ Love, Brett, "X-Files (Score)", Allmusic (Rovi Corporation), http://www.allmusic.com/album/r350258, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas, "X-Files (Original Soundtrack)", Allmusic (Rovi Corporation), http://www.allmusic.com/album/r350256, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ a b Graham, Bob (October 16, 1998), "Conspiracy Marks the Spot The X-Files proves an intriguing thrill", San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications, Inc), http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1998/10/16/DD87903.DTL, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ "DV-Delicious", SFX (Future plc), January 2000
- ^ Stark, Jeff (January 16, 2001). "The X-Files: Fight the Future". Salon (Salon Media Group). http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/dvd/review/2001/01/16/x_files_movie/. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- ^ "Producer: Fox Plotting to Bring X-Files Movies to Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. July 7, 2008. http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Disc_Announcements/Fox/Producer:_Fox_Plotting_to_Bring_X-Files_Movies_to_Blu-ray/1880. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- ^ "The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)", Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster, Inc), http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/xfiles_fight_the_future/, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ a b "The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)", Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster, Inc), http://us.rottentomatoes.com/m/xfiles_fight_the_future/?critic=creamcrop, retrieved April 6, 2010
- ^ Ebert, Roger (June 19, 1998), "The X-Files", Chicago Sun Times (Sun-Times Media Group), http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19980619/REVIEWS/806190305/1023, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ Millmann, Joyce (1998), "I want to believe", Salon (Salon Media Group), http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/1998/06/cov_19reviewa.html, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (June 19, 1998), "'X'-tra, 'X'-tra! See All About It!", The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/xfilesosullivan.htm, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ Turan, Kenneth (June 19, 1998), "The X-Files", Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company), http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-movie980618-5,0,6989189.story, retrieved September 29, 2009 [dead link]
- ^ Alspector, Lisa (1998), "The X-Files", Chicago Reader (Creative Loafing, Inc), http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-x-files/Film?oid=1054988, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ McCarthy, Todd (June 19, 1998), "The X-Files", Variety (Reed Business Information), http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117906995.html?categoryid=31&cs=1, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ "The X-Files: I Want to Believe". The Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2008/XFIL2.php. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- ^ "The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)", Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster, Inc), http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/x_files_2/, retrieved September 29, 2009
- ^ Clark Collis (April 18, 2008), "'X-Files' creator Chris Carter wants to believe in a third movie featuring Mulder and Scully", Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc), http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2008/04/18/chris-carter-wa/, retrieved July 27, 2009
- Duncan, Jody (1998). The Making of The X-Files Movie. New York, US: HarperPrism. ISBN 0061073164. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/series/xfiles/making-of-xfiles-movie.htm.
- The X-Files at the Internet Movie Database
- The X-Files at the TCM Movie Database
- The X-Files at AllRovi
- The X-Files at Rotten Tomatoes
- The X-Files at Metacritic
- The X-Files at Box Office Mojo
- The X-Files at TopTenReviews
The X-Files franchise Franchise The X-Files MillenniumCatherine Black · Frank Black · Emma Hollis Lone GunmenAwards · Characters · Episodes MusicTheme song · Songs in the Key of X · The Truth and the Light · The X-Files: Original Motion Picture Score · The Album · The Best of Millennium · I Want to Believe: Original Motion Picture Score Games Mythology Key people WikiProject · Portal Films directed by Rob Bowman
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The One (2001 film) — The One Promotional poster Directed by James Wong Produced by Steve Chasman Glen Mor … Wikipedia
The Twelve Chairs (film) — The Twelve Chairs , a 1928 novel by Soviet writers Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov, has been adapted for film numerous times, including:* It s In The Bag , 1945 film directed by Richard Wallace, starring Fred Allen, Binnie Barnes, Robert Benchley and … Wikipedia
The Dreamers (unfinished film) — The Dreamers is an unfinished and unreleased film project directed and produced between 1980 and 1982 by Orson Welles.Production historyIn 1979, Welles and Oja Kodar, the Croatian actress and writer who was Welles companion in his later years,… … Wikipedia
The Bourne Supremacy (film) — Infobox Film name =The Bourne Supremacy producer = Patrick Crowley Frank Marshall Paul L. Sandberg Doug Liman writer = Screenplay: Tony Gilroy Brian Helgeland (uncredited) Novel: Robert Ludlum starring = Matt Damon Franka Potente Brian Cox Julia… … Wikipedia
The Trial (1962 film) — Infobox Film name = The Trial caption = DVD box art imdb id = 0057427 writer = Orson Welles Franz Kafka (novel) starring = Anthony Perkins Orson Welles Jeanne Moreau Romy Schneider Akim Tamiroff Elsa Martinelli director = Orson Welles… … Wikipedia
The Firm (1993 film) — This article is about the 1993 film. For the 1988 film of the same name, see The Firm (1988 film) Infobox Film | name = The Firm caption = The Firm promotional movie poster director = Sydney Pollack producer = John Davis Sydney Pollack Scott… … Wikipedia
The Secret (2006 film) — The Secret Directed by Drew Heriot Produced by Rhonda Byrne (Executive Producer), Paul Harrington (Producer) … Wikipedia
The Game (Rap, Film) — The Game (rappeur) Pour les articles homonymes, voir The Game. The Game (rappeur) … Wikipédia en Français
The Hunted (2003 film) — Infobox Film name = The Hunted caption = Theatrical release poster director = William Friedkin producer = James Jacks Ricardo Mestres writer = David Griffiths Peter Griffiths Art Monterastelli narrator = starring = Tommy Lee Jones Benicio del… … Wikipedia
The Fourth Protocol (film) — Infobox Film name = The Fourth Protocol image size = 175px director = John Mackenzie producer = Timothy Burrill writer = Frederick Forsyth (book) George Axelrod Richard Burridge (additional material) starring = Michael Caine Pierce Brosnan Ned… … Wikipedia