Interviews: Chris Carter, Kiefer Sutherland

by Paul William Tenny

Entertainment Weekly interviewed Chris Carter about his work on the upcoming sequel to the 1998 feature film The X-Files, while IGN TV hooked up with the star of Fox's continuing drama 24, Kiefer Sutherland. For the record, I didn't like the film and I thought the series took a noticeable down turn after the film came out. I felt like the driving force behind the series was the mystery over the aliens. There was always a level of deniability built into that show where up until 1998, there wasn't any single episode where you could point to that and say that Mulder got his proof, saw something real, knew for a fact and didn't just suspect any longer. Getting to crawl around inside an alien space ship tends to do that for a man.

Once that happened, it was simply a matter of how would they wrap up the show. We knew the truth, we saw the deal, there wasn't anywhere left to go. It seemed like Chris Carter fell off the planet after the X-Files ended too, kind of like his series did. So is this an attempt by Carter to regain past glory? Is this is ticket back into the business? Who knows, but unless this movie proves extremely compelling - a little compelling won't cut it after Carter burned up all his credibility - I'm not going to go see it. (interview quotes inside)
EW: What's the status of the script? Is there a script?
CHRIS CARTER: There's a script being worked on.

EW: This time it's for real, you'd say?
CARTER: Yes. I should say we're working to make it happen. It's for real that we're working, but there are no guarantees that it will get made. I mean, it still has to go through a lot of different things, including a budgeting process.

Taken it for what it's worth, which isn't much. Without a studio deal, this is no different than writing a script on spec in your living room on the weekend. It's too bad Entertainment Weekly didn't have the brains to ask a real question, like what the heck the new film is going to be about. So much for story, eh?

As for Mr. 24, I confess that I've got the last nine episodes of last seasons sitting on my DVR that I haven't even seen yet. No matter, I've got until January!

IGN: Why was the decision made to scrap the plan to shoot in Africa?
Sutherland: Well, I think on a couple of levels I think it was very, very difficult to shoot a television show on two, perhaps three continents. It wasn't a time thing, because they figured that out, which I thought was pretty cool. They found a better way to tell the story from a perspective here, because there certainly are still stories happening in Africa. But it was better told with their ability to write all 24 episodes, they knew very quickly it would be much better for them to tell it from this country's perspective than that one.

IGN: Were you satisfied with Season 6? The show faced some criticism.
Sutherland: It did. I felt the same about last year as I did every year. I think every year there are moments that are better than we ever expected, and there are moments that are disappointing for us. I read a lot of the criticism, and some of it I agreed wholeheartedly with and some of them I did not. Again, I felt that the first four episodes we did last year were four of the best episodes we'd ever done, and I felt the same way about the last four, and there were moments in-between where we struggled.

This is a much, much better interview than what Entertainment Weekly did. Hats off to IGN for not only scoring the chat, but asking good questions and having a real conversation instead of bouncing stupid questions of a wall.


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