New York ComicCon: X-Files 2 Panel

22 04 2008

Here’s a transcript by Nerdotic, a fellow blogger who managed to write what he saw at the panel. Enjoy:

Here is 95% of the X-Files II panel at the IGN theatre, feverishly taken town by me with loose “summing up” in parts using my little notebook and a #2 pencil. No recording devices allowed, indeed.

The panel began with a showing of the X-Files II trailer. If you missed out, here is a brief description: “snow, mystery, crowds of villagers, more snow, more mystery, Scully and Mulder together, snow and mystery”. You will find the trailer online in a few weeks and confirm my writing.

Chris Carter, creator of the X-Files and Frank Spotnitz, the producer of the second film, were introduced by the host (IGN’s Chris Carle, who acted as the speaking voice for the quiet questions of the fans) to much applause from the audience. The following is based on my collection of notes, with very loose paraphasing in parts where I was not able to write down the response quickly enough and two fan questions omitted. If you’re curious about what was left out, it was laughing, applause, and repetitive fanfic-related questions. There’s only so much fanboyism a pencil can handle. I will use Chris and Frank for the two guests (sometimes I mixed them up, although Chris had a very memorable voice) and Host for the questions, as that was how the notes were taken down. The fans spoke their questions in a line and Chris Carle was able to grab the jist of most questions and relay them through the mic. Direct quotes appear in quote tags, with most of the content getting the atmosphere and general answer to the questions.

Host: Did you like the trailer?

Chris just responded with a laugh.

Host: Why was the trailer so mysterious?

Chris: We felt that it was best to keep it was that way for the sake of the fans. There are too many spoiler sites out there.

Host: Will this be a standalone story or an expansion of an earlier one?

Both: This is treated as a “stand-alone” story following the events of the X-Files series.

Host: How did it feel to work together again?

Chris responded very favorably, to a LOT of applause from the audience. He said it was nice to not do single episodes anymore.

Host: Will the Lone Gunmen be making a return?

Chris (quoted from the direct IGN article ): “We’re going to take some of our own medicine and say, ‘deny everything’.”

The next question was a girl who cutely apologized for trying to steal the X-Files II poster from the “Autographs” area of the con. It was met to much laughter.

With the next question about Scully’s family, it was confirmed that they will not be in the movie directly, but may be referenced.

A fan gave a very brief statement on the joy given to the fans by the series and how thankful they were. It was also met with great applause. Chris was very thankful for the fans.

Host: Do you feel that the fan interaction changed with the Internet?

Chris: “The X-Files grew with the internet” and proceeded to tell a story about a fan at a Millenium Convention. He said a woman came up to him and spoke about how his shows made the last year of her dad’s life excellent. He asked who she was and she said “Dina Martin”, the daughter of Dean Martin. That was not expected by him at all in a million years.

Host: Who’s idea was the title? (“X-Files II: I Want To Believe”)

(from the direct IGN article ) “I’ll take credit for it, but I’ll share credit with Frank. I came up with that poster on Mulder’s wall originally, so it was a natural title”. The next statement was a fan who began by saying that he liked it, to even more applause.

Host: Will we see extra DVD features, such as unrated footage?

The last part of the question drew a big laugh.

Frank: We can tell you that the blu-ray edition will have a LOT of features.

Host: The X-Files moved in a different political climate. How will the current one affect the movie?

Frank: “This isn’t a political or government conspiracy movie”.

Chris: “We live in scary times”. “After Watergate, could you really believe the news?”

Host: Six years after the series ended, have Scully and Mulder kept in contact?

Chris: “They’ve been texting”, with a huge grin. More laughter, a big wave this time.

Host: If this was the last X-Files, would it have been in a different format (such as a comic or manga)?

Chris proceeded to state that DC revealed (or was about to reveal) an X-Files comic, confirming suspicions.

Host: What do you want fans to take from this film?

Chris: “Hope.” “The trash under their seat”, with a sly grin. More laughter.

We now started moving to the more specific X-Files questions. As I did not watch the show nearly as much as these people, I was lost at some names and comments.

Host: Will we ever find out what Clyde Brackman meant when he said “you don’t”?

Chris: I don’t know, but that was “definitely one of the best episodes of the series”.

Host: What was the most challenging part of the film?

Frank: “Three weeks in the cold and a fat suit.”

One of them proceeded to state that it was “lovely to see such affection for the film and the series”.

Host: Would you want to continue the X-Files on another network?

Chris: It won’t be the without Scully or Mulder (the actors are both busy on series at the moment). If successful here, it would present an opportunity to see life after the film.

Host: How far are you with the sequel?

(I really wish I could’ve transcribed this, but it was so fast. The responses drew great laughs, but both the panelists were very mysterious about the plot of the current film.) Frank went on to reply to another question about the film’s release with “we just wanted to make the movie”.

Host: Last episode, why did Mulder see dead people and why did he not see Diana Fowley?

Chris: They weren’t meant to be treated as literal ghosts.

The IGN host quipped about The Sixth Sense, to even more laughs.

Host: Did the X-Files ever scare you?

Frank: It’s surprising, but I laugh when I find something horrifying in the show.

Chris states that he had the same feeling: It doesn’t scare you, because you’re so involved in it.

Host: Will Frank Black be in this movie?

Chris: “No, unfortunately”.

Host: What moment best defines the series?

Frank: “The little gestures of support that they would give to each other”.

Chris (with a huge grin): “When Mulder tells Scully that he was never sure that her tiny feet could reach the pedals”. Even more laughter for this quip.

Host: Is there a tie to theology behind the X-Files?

Chris: No, not a strong religious tone either.

The host asked for more questions, to which Chris responded with: “More than that, can’t we?” to much applause.

Host: Did you read any internet fanfiction in preparation for the film?

Chris: “It’s a PG-13 movie”, to a LOT of laughter at both question and answer. “No, we did not, although I appreciate the facfiction and uhh…” People live steamier lives than I.

Host: Would two real FBI agents ever get away with doing this?

Chris: I don’t know, but my friends in the FBI that I’ve made over the course of the series really go for it.

Host: “Did you and the writers have a plan if Duchovny would not come back for the season?

Chris (with a grin): “We… asked him before we wrote it.” Laughter.

Host: Did you watch the series again before making the film?

Chris (it was beginning to get funny at this point): “No”, to even more laughter.

Host: Were you inspired by authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and (names unrecorded due to speed of question)?

Chris confirmed: “Yes, very much so.”

Host ( Q&A paraphrased due to length): When did this plot to you?

Chris: After the show.

Host: Did Mulder mouth “I love you” to Scully during (unrecorded episode, but a famous scene)?

Chris: “It’s a TV show, come on…” to much laughter. “If you play it backwards with that song by Led Zeppelin…”

The next question was if the fans would ever find out who the father of Scully’s baby was. I didn’t catch all of this, but I believe the answer was a straight-faced one by Chris:”It’s Mulder”.

What followed was a good chunk of fanfic questions, which I didn’t bother recording. I’m sorry if this is a loss to many of you, but I was getting tired after 40 minutes to constant writing.

To conclude, both Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz did an excellent job fielding questions and handled even the strangest ones with grace. Most of the answers were answered by Chris, as he seemed to handle the esoteric ones more carefully. I remember him having a sly grin that was very memorable. The panel was very good overall and a fun experience for X-Files fans.

It was clear that they didn’t want to reveal much about the movie at this point and keep the fans’ interest piqued, so keep checking the film blogs and compendium sites for more information in the following weeks. The footage they showed was very true to the series in acting and atmosphere. It’s going to be a good one for any fan to see.

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