It was "X-Files" night at the Paley Fest on Wednesday, a last-minute addition to the television festival's lineup. No doubt the session arrived on the heels of the frenzied reception to the "X-Files" movie panel at Wondercon in San Francisco last month (February).
Advance word on the internets suggested that new clips from the much-anticipated "X-Files" sequel film (due in theaters July 25) might be shown. There also were hopes that leading man David Duchovny (Mulder) might pop in (he lives in the area, after all). There was a dim chance that the reliably tight-lipped "X-Files" creator Chris Carter might actually reveal something about the film -- maybe even the title.
But sadly, no dice. Carter remained mostly tight-lipped.
Why release a sequel to the first movie now, a moderator asked.
"Fox [the film distributor] said, 'Now or never,'" Carter replied.
All those of us in the audience got was a vague reassurance from Carter that Scully ( Gillian Anderson) and Mulder's child William would not go unnoticed in the film; word that the story occurs six years after the first movie; and two viewings of a new 30-second trailer. Among the disappointing revelations was that Carter is still battling with Fox over the title.
"I know what I want it to be but Fox has ideas of their own," he said. "I know what it should be."
Personally, I was disappointed, but how did the super-fans feel? With just four months until the film is released, the movie still doesn't have a title or posters and Fox hasn't even posted a website for the film.
"It's far too late in the game for Fox to promote this movie the right way," said Holly Simon, who started XfilesNews.com, the go-to resource for news on the new "X-Files" film.
Simon was exhausted from being up late Wednesday night, sitting by her cellphone, ready to receive texts from correspondents in the audience in case something big broke.
She was able to put some cellphone video footage of the new trailer up, but even that got cut off early when a security guard accosted her spy.
"Sometimes I wonder if I'm not the only force out there trying to help this movie along," Simon said.
The stakes are high for fans like Simon. The finale of the "X-Files" series included the reveal that an alien invasion was planned for Dec. 22, 2012. If this "X-Files" film is a success, fans hope that Carter will be able to explore what happens on that date. And if the film flops? "Well, therefore the storyline of this show never ends," Simon said.