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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!
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