While “X-Files” creator and executive producer Chris Carter makes no secret of his having been inspired by the 1974-75 ABC series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” Carter had other projects on his mind while putting together the “X-Files” feature that’s set to be released next summer.
Carter said he’s been thinking about “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and its “Indiana Jones” sequels, films whose entertainment value and storytelling “knocked me out.” He also claims to have seen “Citizen Kane” 50 times and still returns to watch the first two “Godfather” films for reference. ” ‘Apocalypse Now’ is also an example of great moviemaking,” he says.
But if there is one film on which Carter is basing the tone and style of his “X-Files” theatrical, it would be the 1976 film adaptation of the seminal Bob Woodward/Carl Bernstein work “All the President’s Men.”
“It was a great film that just broke so many rules,” Carter says. “To use the non-dramatic image of someone sitting on a telephone trying to glean information took some guts. And as a former journalist interested in investigative journalism as a young man, that kind of storytelling and investigative approach fascinated me.”
Carter sees more than a few similarities between Woodward/Bernstein and his “X-Files” twosome of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
“Mulder and Scully do a lot of the same things in their jobs,” he believes. “It’s a kind of entertainment that largely doesn’t play anymore. Tabloidization has had a great impact, unfortunately. We’re not interested in journalists who adhere to a standard of their own. So you couldn’t do an ‘All the President’s Men’ anymore. But I’m doing my best to make an ‘X-Files’ answer to it.”
“Yes, we knew the outcome of the story in ‘All the President’s Men,’ ” he adds, “but in an odd way that actually made for more compelling drama. The excitement was in seeing how they got where they were going. If we can accomplish half of what that film did dramatically, I’ll be enormously pleased.”