‘X-Files’ Creator Says Execs Asked “Where’s The Sex Appeal?” When Casting Gillian Anderson; Talks Challenges Ahead For Ryan Coogler Reboot

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The X-Files creator Chris Carter is opening up about the early days of the seminal Fox sci-fi series, and opining on the challenges ahead for Ryan Coogler as he preps a reboot. “No matter what, he’s got a hard job,” Carter told Inverse in a recent interview. “Casting is a hard job. Mounting it is a hard job. All the problems that I dealt with are going to be his problems.”

One of the issues Carter recalled about the original series which first aired in 1993 was casting Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agent, doctor and skeptic Dana Scully. 

“I wanted to take her before the studio and the network,” Carter told Inverse. However, the network wanted a bombshell type. “Where’s the sex appeal?,” Carter recalled executives asking. “Even though Gillian’s beautiful, she wasn’t their idea of sexy. First, because they didn’t understand what I was trying to do with the show. And she was an unknown, so that never helps.”

David Duchovny, who would go on to play FBI Special Agent and staunch believer Fox Mulder, was also relatively unknown, but Carter fought hard for both.

Of the upcoming reboot, which is being developed by Black Panther and Creed filmmaker Coogler, Carter said, “I’m looking forward to seeing what somebody else does with it.”

When Coogler first pitched the update, Carter says the duo had “a really nice conversation” and that Coogler had “good ideas.”

But alongside the challenges of casting and mounting the project will be how to deal with conspiracies in a world where, even if the truth is out there as the original show’s mantra went, it’s harder to identify today. “Everything’s a conspiracy,” Carter said. “No one knows what the truth is. It’s completely subjective and relative now.”

He continued, “You do a show like this, [and] there’s media done on you and it’s like, what does that spawn? What does that produce? What is the result of that thing? It’s not always good.”

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