Ryan Coogler, the director (and co-writer) of both Black Panther films, Fruitvale Station and Creed, is reportedly "remounting" beloved show The X Files
Are they seriously rebooting The X Files?
While I was expecting some announcements this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of my favourite shows of all time, a full-blown reboot was the last thing on my mind.
My kneejerk reaction was to groan. It wasn’t just a groan though. I can best describe my mood as the following still from the show’s second episode, ‘The Host’, from Season 2:
But then I heard that Ryan Coogler, the director (and co-writer) of both Black Panther films, Fruitvale Station and Creed, would be the person taking over the franchise, and my mood tentatively changed to:
The X Files creator Chris Carter mentioned in a recent interview that Coogler was looking to “remount” the franchise.
“I just spoke to a young man, Ryan Coogler, who is going to remount The X-Files with a diverse cast. So, he’s got his work cut out for him because we covered so much territory,” Carter revealed on the CBC podcast On the Coast with Gloria Macarenko.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the original series (FOR SHAME!), The X-Files premiered on Fox in the US in 1993 and followed the story of Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) who investigate supernatural phenomena - urban legends, special powers and uncovering the US government’s deepest darkest secrets regarding a conspiracy to cover up the existence of extra-terrestrial life.
The original series ran until 2002, followed by revival seasons in 2016 and 2018 – both of which were not quite up to par with the original run, despite the return of the main cast and some standout monster-of-the-week episodes.
I spent my entire childhood in the 90s glued to the TV screen on Sunday evenings, watching the first half of the double-bill because the second episode aired too late for me to watch before a school day. You can imagine how that played havoc on my tiny lizard brain when it came to keeping abreast of the mythology episodes and the ongoing conspiracy.
Since then, I have rewatched the show from Season 1 to 11 countless times, and have become one of those frustratingly protective fans who doesn’t want their beloved stories tampered with.
However, there’s something about this news that makes some sense.
While we don’t have too much information right now on whether it’ll be a remake, a sequel, a rebootquel with some cheeky cameos thrown in to keep the original timeline alive and well, the fact that Coogler is involved is enough for me to get curious, if not excited. His track record speaks for itself and he seems like a safe pair of hands to breathe some fresh air into the show and certainly diversify it.
And let’s face facts, Seasons 10 and 11 weren’t exactly top notch, even for die hard fans like myself. The less said about the treatment of Scully in the finale, the better.
To expect any reboot – sorry “remount” – to replicate the cultural impact that The X-Files had during the ‘90s is foolish, but a different perspective may allow a (necessary) shift in focus.
Carter has previously talked about the challenges in updating the show. In a 2021 New York Times op-ed, the writer-director discussed his thoughts on the prevalence and changing nature of conspiracy theories. Indeed, since the show ended, dangerous conspiracy theories fuelled by online misinformation (and former US presidents) have impacted our culture and been used as power plays to delegitimize others - something Carter called "the industrialization of conspiracy theories". Basically, we’ve come a long and depressing way from the grassy knoll and little green men…
"We're so steeped in conspiracies now," he said. "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."
Amen to that.
And considering Coogler has worked with Michael B. Jordan on several of his projects, would it be too much to speculate what Jordan would look like in a suit with an FBI badge? Dashing, I’ll warrant.
Still, it’s early days, and it remains to be seen when Coogler will find the time considering his Marvel workload. There is also no word on what network or platform on which it would air. It is assumed that the “remount” is a separate project from the animated spinoff comedy series called The X-Files: Albuquerque, announced back in 2020… A project that has still not seen the light of day, and there's no official confirmation of whether it is still in the works.
So, until more details drip through, file this in the FBI basement cabinet under the label ‘Trust No One’.
But I (still) want to believe.