‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter Gave Ryan Coogler His Blessing for Series Reboot: ‘He’s Got Some Good Ideas’

The writer-producer tells TheWrap he’ll only be involved in the new series as a “cheerleader”

Chris Carter
Chris Carter (CREDIT: O'cēan S. Brown)

“The X-Files,” Chris Carter’s landmark 1990s sci-fi show that starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, has already seen two reboots, with another on the way from “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.

While Coogler didn’t need Carter’s permission to reboot the iconic series, he did wind up getting the Emmy-nominated creator’s blessing.

TheWrap chatted with Carter at the opening of his art exhibit in Los Angeles on Saturday, where he addressed the upcoming reboot and the legacy of the sci-fi series, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in September.

Carter confirmed that Coogler will produce the upcoming series, but he himself would only be involved in a new “X-Files” incarnation “as a cheerleader.”

Will you be part of “The X-Files” reboot?

Chris Carter: I wouldn’t. Only as a cheerleader. They don’t need my blessing. 20th Century Fox and Disney owns the show. They are free to do with it what they believe. I’m honored that they came to me and asked me, not for my permission, but my blessing.

You’ve spoken to Coogler about it?

I’m not supposed to be talking about it, according to Disney. But I’ll tell you, yes. I’ve had a conversation with him. Yes, he likes to go with a diverse cast. And he’s got some good ideas.

Do you plan to watch the new version?

Sure. Yeah. I’m curious. It’s not the easiest show to write because of the subject matter. It’s not like “Law & Order,” where you have the crime of the week. You have to imagine “what if” and that “what if” is oftentimes hard to tackle.

Chris Carter
Chris Carter speaks at the launch of the Chris Carter Collection in Los Angeles (CREDIT: O’cēan S. Brown)

But you’re not interested in doing another revival of “The X-Files” yourself?

Oh, if David [Duchovny] and Gillian [Anderson] wanted to do it again. Yeah, probably, then I would be inspired.

You’ve said “The X-Files” was influenced by “The Twilight Zone” and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” in turn I’m sure you’ve had several creators tell you how much of an influence your show was on them.

Yeah, I have. I gave a talk in Austin, Texas with a famous television creator, who said to me, “We were just ripping you off.”

Was it a “Lost” producer?

[Laughs] Maybe. Maybe.

What would you say is the legacy of “The X-Files”?

Wow. That’s hard to say. People ask the reasons for its success and the answer I give to them is David and Gillian. If it weren’t for that relationship, and the actors who portrayed Mulder and Scully, the show would not have been the hit it became.

The exhibit includes paintings, surf boards, “hate” dinner plates and a number of collages — including one with Hello Kitty and the message, “My Crowning Achievement.”

Three black-and-white photographs of the night sky, labeled “UFO 1,” “UFO 2” and “UFO 3” are “the only reference to ‘The X-Files’ in this show,” Carter added. “I don’t tell people what they mean, I let people imagine what they mean. Take from it what they will.”

The Chris Carter Collection can be viewed by appointment only. It runs from Feb. 24 to March 10 at the Legacy West Media Gallery at 609 South Anderson Street, Los Angeles.


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