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What We Know About the Reboot of the Sci-Fi Classic ‘The X-Files’

Rosemary Giles
Photo Credit: Yaut/ Fox Broadcasting Company/ MovieStillsDB/ Cropped and Blurred
Photo Credit: Yaut/ Fox Broadcasting Company/ MovieStillsDB/ Cropped and Blurred

Full of supernatural monsters and mystery, The X-Files is one of the best-loved classic sci-fi shows. Thirty years after it first aired, the dynamic duo of Agents Mulder and Scully still stand the test of time. Although the show has already had many reboots – two additional seasons, and two movies – it looks like another one is on the horizon. Read on to discover all we know about the future of The X-Files. 

The X-Files

The original The X-Files series ran from 1993 to 2002. It followed FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, and Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, as they investigated mysterious paranormal cases. Their personalities balance each other perfectly – one conspiracy nut and one skeptical doctor – until they eventually find themselves in a romantic relationship after years of working together.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in black suits and jackets surrounded by forest.
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, in a publicity still for The X-Files season seven. (Photo Credit: Alissa/ Fox Broadcasting Company/ MovieStillsDB)

A perfect mix of a complex alien invasion plot and independent monsters, there’s a reason why The X-Files kept fans captivated for so long. Critics were also very complimentary of the show. Many thought that it was the best series of the ’90s, while Ian Burrell from The Independent had high praise when he said that it was “one of the greatest cult shows in modern television.”

Film spinoffs

There was even a 1998 film (between the fifth and sixth seasons), also called The X-Files, which followed the main characters. Yet all good things must come to an end. The X-Files was canceled after the ninth season when viewership dropped off, partially because the writing and storyline just weren’t what they used to be. Additionally, the final season began airing just a couple of months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The audience wasn’t as open to shows about conspiracies and death as they had been prior to the attacks.

David Duchovny helping a frostbitten Gillian Anderson walk.
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, in a publicity still for the film The X-Files. (Photo Credit: jeffw616/ MovieStillsDB)

There was a second movie released in 2008 called The X-Files: I Want to Believe. It received horrible feedback, similar to what was said about the final seasons of the show. Producers were unwilling to give up on the series entirely, and tenth and eleventh seasons were released in 2016 and 2018 – 14 years after the show supposedly ended. These were much more successful, which might be part of the reason why producers are trying to revive The X-Files yet again.

Developing a reboot

Chris Carter was supposed to create an animated spinoff of the show, The X-Files: Albuquerque, in 2020, although this never panned out. He said in a March 2023 interview with Gloria Macarenko that this was no longer happening, but instead, a new live-action project was in redevelopment. Apparently, Black Panther and Creed director Ryan Coogler is working on a different franchise project.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, who is texting, stand in an office wearing black sweaters.
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, in a publicity still for The-X Files season 11. (Photo Credit: jeffw616/ Fox Broadcasting Company/ MovieStillsDB)

Details about this “remount,” as Carter called it, are currently sparse at best. He said the show will focus more on inclusivity among the cast than the 1990s production. Carter also thinks that Coogler will have to pivot with the plot direction, saying, “The X-Files dealt with a central conspiracy, but now the world is so full of conspiracies that I think that it would be a different show.”

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As exciting as the prospect of another series is, fans might be disappointed to learn that Carter indicated that the original show’s stars, Anderson and Duchovny, will not return for this incarnation. It’s also unclear whether it will bear the X-Files name.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.