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X-Files to be on film again

The X-Files is headed for a second incarnation on the big screen.

Reuters reports X-Files creator Chris Carter is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to develop a second feature based on his long-running hit TV series. As with the 1998 film, Carter would write and produce with Frank Spotnitz.

The project is reportedly being developed as a stand-alone vehicle for series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their respective roles as special FBI agents Mulder and Scully. Both have indicated a willingness to return for the new picture.

Duchovny is no longer with the Fox series; Anderson has long expressed her desire to leave the Fox show following the end of the show's ninth season, which begins Sunday.

Carter and Spotnitz are expected to begin writing the screenplay within the next few months. Pending the hiring of a director (Rob Bowman directed the original) and a greenlight, the picture could begin shooting by late 2002.

It's expected the earliest the film could be released is Christmas 2003.

The first feature grossed $84 million domestically and also performed well in home video. Overall, figuring in licensing and syndication revenue, the "X-Files" franchise has made nearly $1 billion for Fox's News Corp. parent since the show launched in fall 1993.

"The X-Files" remains Fox's top-rated drama and the No. 2 drama on TV among the key demo target of adults 18-49.