By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer
LOS ANGELES - The truth is finally out there about the new "X-Files" movie title.
The second big-screen spinoff of the paranormal TV adventure will be called "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," Chris Carter, the series' creator and the movie's director and co-writer, told The Associated Press.
Distributor 20th Century Fox signed off on the title Wednesday.
The title is a familiar phrase for fans of the series that starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents chasing after aliens and supernatural happenings. "I Want to Believe" was the slogan on a poster Duchovny's UFO-obsessed agent Fox Mulder had hanging in the cluttered basement office where he and Anderson's Dana Scully worked.
"It's a natural title," Carter said in a telephone interview Tuesday during a break from editing the film. "It's a story that involves the difficulties in mediating faith and science. `I Want to Believe.' It really does suggest Mulder's struggle with his faith."
"I Want to Believe" comes 10 years after the first film and six years after the finale of the series, whose opening credits for much of its nine-year run featured the catch-phrase "the truth is out there."
Due in theaters July 25, the movie will not deal with aliens or the intricate mythology about interaction between humans and extraterrestrials that the show built up over the years, Carter said.
Instead, it casts Mulder and Scully into a stand-alone, earth-bound story aimed at both serious "X-Files" fans and newcomers, he said.
"It has struck me over the last several years talking to college-age kids that a lot of them really don't know the show or haven't seen it," Carter said. "If you're 20 years old now, the show started when you were 4. It was probably too scary for you or your parents wouldn't let you watch it. So there's a whole new audience that might have liked the show. This was made to, I would call it, satisfy everyone."
Hardcore fans need not worry that the movie will be going back to square one, though, Carter said. The movie will be true to the spirit of the show and everything Mulder and Scully went through, he said.
"The reason we're even making the movie is for the rabid fans, so we don't want to insult them by having to take them back through the concept again," Carter said.
Carter said he settled on "I Want to Believe" from the time he and co-writer Frank Spotnitz started on the screenplay. It took so long to go public with it because studio executives wanted to make sure it was a marketable title, he said.
The filmmakers have kept the story tightly under wraps to prevent plot spoilers from leaking on the Internet, a phenomenon that barely existed when the first movie came out in 1998.
"We went to almost comical lengths to keep the story a secret," Carter said. "That included allowing only the key crew members to read the script, and they had to read it in a room that had video cameras trained on them. It was a new experience."
20th Century Fox is owned by News Corp.