IF NO THIRD FILM, RETURN TO TV?
So what if a film doesn’t happen? This could easily be the case. Could a return to our TV screens work? Kevin Spacey recently spoke out at an annual TV festival in Edinburgh on how TV was changing the face on how we view content and it’s hard to argue against that. With people forced to watch every film in 3D, price of tickets going up and new release films not even spaced out to give audiences the chance to watch them all, TV is suddenly back on the rise. You can watch entire series in one day in the comfort of your own home with shows now becoming widely available through different on-demand platforms. And depending on your pay model (subscription vs. pay as you go), buying and watching an entire series probably works out to be cheaper than buying a cinema ticket. TV audiences are becoming addicted because the quality is there, especially on the cable network shows (or in the case of House of Cards – straight to an on-demand platform) where there are no restrictions on creative freedom. Show like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have benefited from this.
At Comic-Con during its 20th Anniversary Panel the idea was quickly shot down but returning back to TV might not be such a bad idea.
Look at 24. After the show ended, work on the movie had been stuck in development hell until recently it was announced that it was going to return on TV as a mini-series. Now obviously we don’t know the ins and outs of any deal in the industry but I can imagine a mini-series being a less cost effective risk then trying to raise X amount of money just for the film’s budget (plus the amount of money you would have to raise to promote the film). Then you will have to find a sensible release date where it won’t get overshadowed by comic book movies that are expected to gross $300 million worldwide. The economics of making back money might not be there.
So how about this – if no movie, how about 2 (or possibly 3) 90 min specials to conclude the show? By having that we get more Mulder and Scully screen time, enough time to flesh out the plot and tie up loose ends so it doesn’t feel rushed (which you would probably get in a movie) and a returning cast that can get their proper re-introduction back into the X-Files world.
I look back at how Torchwood: Children of Earth was aired on the BBC. With a clever advert, the schedule was freed up for nightly broadcasts of the episodes and the series was brilliant! Torchwood’s follow up Miracle Day may have been a disappointment (and I’m one of those disappointed viewers) but The X-Files could adopt that same model of airing the specials on consecutive nights. You can certainly promote the hell out of it with TV adverts and online marketing. But most importantly it re-establishes the nostalgia of true event viewing that took place in the 90s.
I know that might not be what everyone wants, but The X-Files was born on TV, maybe it feels poetic that it finally ends there.