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Months after shooting had wrapped, Carter remained as circumspect about the story as he was during its development and production. "Mulder and Scully are drawn back into the world of the X-Files by a case,” is all he'll add about the plot. Perhaps more clues…to something….can be found in the film's title. "I Want to Believe” is a familiar phrase for fans of the series; it was the slogan on a poster that Mulder had hanging in his office at the FBI. "It's a natural title,” says Chris Carter. "It's a story that involves the difficulties in mediating faith and science. It really does suggest Mulder's struggle with his faith.”

Carter is much more revealing about his goals for the film. "Simply put, we want to scare the pants off of everyone in the audience,” he says. While the scale and scope inherent in the medium of film allowed the filmmakers to take the story and characters where the show couldn't go, Carter says THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE also marks a return to the series' roots, when it was the lone beacon on television for fans of thrillers, supernatural tales, and of horror stories. "The film encompasses all the best things people loved about the show. It's scary, creepy, and has a good mystery. With The X-Files, we often scared people by what they didn't show, and we use that device for the movie.”

Adds writer-producer Frank Spotnitz: "I think the best part of The X-Files was that it could make you afraid of anything. They didn't tell typical horror stories or adhere to popular genre conventions. And this movie is in that tradition of showing things that you would not see in most scary movies.”

Unlike the first The X-Files motion picture, released in 1998, Carter and Spotnitz's story for THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE does not require audiences to understand the series' complex mythology that stretched across its nine seasons on the air. "The first movie was kind of an epic episode of the show, but THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE is a real, stand-alone movie,” explains Carter. "If the show hadn't existed, this is a story that still would have found its way to the big screen.”

After ten long years since the first film – and six years since the close of the series – Carter and Spotnitz felt the time was right for a new The X-Files movie, not only to provide the show's legions of fans with a new case for Mulder and Scully, but to introduce a new generation to these characters already beloved by millions. "It has struck me over the last several years, talking to college-age kids, that many of them really don't know the show,” says Carter. "A twenty-year-old today would have been too young when the show debuted [16 years ago]. So there's a whole new audience for The X-Files. And this film was made to satisfy them, as well as our longtime fans.”

"Writing and making this film was far more than an exercise in nostalgia,” adds Frank Spotnitz. "Chris and I took a long, careful and emotional look at Mulder and Scully and where they would be at this point in their lives. We would talk for hours and hours about the story and what it meant to us.”

The two filmmakers decided that the story, and the critical Mulder-Scully dynamic, would take place in what they call "real time” – it's been six years since we last saw them in the series finale, and the film would reflect that progression. "They're six years older and six years wiser, and their relationship has evolved quite a bit,” says Carter. "Mulder and Scully have gone through a lot [in that period], so there is much in the movie about the state of their relationship – and its future.”

David Duchovny says that presenting Mulder and Scully as they are today, was a critical decision. "It was important to allow time to go on in the world of The X-Files as it's gone on in the world at large. I think one of the most interesting things

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