David Duchovny made a name for himself on television thanks to his long-running role on The X-Files as Fox Mulder, although he went on to star in Showtime's Californication in a role that was definitely different from Mulder. Now, Duchovny is slated to return to Showtime for a new project, and it is high time that somebody get Duchovny's X-Files screen partner Gillian Anderson to appear in a project with him again after the X-Files revival ended on Fox in 2018.
The project bringing David Duchovny back to Showtime is potential series adaptation of the novel Truly Like Lightning, which Duchovny wrote and was published back in February 2021. Deadline reports that the potential Truly Like Lightning show has already received a script order in the development process, with Duchovny attached to play the leading man, write the adaptation, and executive produce if the script order results in a series order. Also on board are Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, who wrote and directed The Peanut Butter Falcon. They would direct and executive produce the series.
So, what does that have to do with Gillian Anderson? Well, the plot of Truly Like Lightning could provide some potential characters for Anderson, and her roles ranging from The X-Files to Sex Education to play a sex therapist to The Crown prove that she has the range to do more than just play the skeptic to David Duchovny's believer during their time on the Fox series. The plot centers on Bronson Powers, to be played by Duchovny, who is a former Hollywood stuntman with three wives and ten children who has embraced a life off the grid and unplugged in the desert of Joshua Tree.
Bronson's life is turned upside down when a real estate developer attempts to ruthlessly force him off his desert land, which could result in his family being exposed to the temptations of modern 21st century America, which Bronson had tried to leave behind. The book is described as "a heartbreaking meditation on family, religion, sex, greed, human nature, and the vanishing environment of an ancient desert," and the real estate developer in the novel is a female character.
Between the three wives and the real estate developer, there are four characters right there that Gillian Anderson could play for an adaptation! With David Duchovny so heavily involved with the potential project plus preexisting ties with Showtime, it's not unimaginable that he could bring Anderson in if she was so inclined and had the time.
Admittedly, there is the point that at least some viewers might focus more on the X-Files reunion than anything happening in the new show, but Duchovny and Anderson are skilled enough actors that working opposite each other on such a different project could totally work, right? As a veteran X-Files fan, I have to say that I'd rather see Anderson as a separate and more distinct character than one of three wives. Although it would be fun to actually get to see them play love interests on screen for once after the Mulder/Scully situation!
For his part, David Duchovny has said that he's "so excited to be heading back home to Showtime" and that he "can't wait to begin" the new collaboration for Truly Like Lightning. There is no guarantee at this point that Truly Like Lightning will get a series order, but with the writer of the book so heavily involved and formerly starring and executive producing a hit for the network, I can definitely see David Duchovny getting his project off the ground and adapted into a TV show, with or without Gillian Anderson for another X-Files reunion.
If you want to relive David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson's days together as Mulder and Scully, you can find the full run of The X-Files (including the divisive pair of revival seasons) streaming on Hulu now.