Why Is Gillian Anderson Leaving ‘X-Files’? Fans May Have More Than One Reason To Worry
For X-Files fans seeking the truth about the series' future, Scully is here to help. At the Television Critics’ Association winter press tour on Wednesday, Gillian Anderson confirmed she's leaving the X-Files (costume designer: Katrina McCarthy). So why is Anderson saying goodbye to Scully? According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said that she originally signed up for just six episodes in 2017 and, though she stuck around for a second 10-episode installment of the revival, she's now officially done. Does Anderson's announcement mean the X-Files revival is officially over? Well, if you believe creator Chris Carter's previous statements about his leading lady, then, yes, it does.
When Anderson made the announcement at TCA — following an interview with The Los Angeles Times in which she said the same thing — she explained, "It's time for me to hang up Scully's hat. It just is." She also implied that it would be forever, telling reporters in attendance, "I'm finished, and that's the end of that." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson said that she had come to this decision "before we did the previous six, but I was really curious" to see what else they could do. For her, Season 10, which came 14 years after the original series finale, "was dipping our toe back in again... and getting to play these wonderful characters again," but the new Season 11 episodes, which premiered earlier this month, "feels like the pace is up and we're running."
That's why Anderson decided this was a good place to stop. "I wouldn't necessarily have been happy if those six were how we said goodbye," she admitted. But now the actor — who will appear in two movies this year, including the comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon — feels like she's leaving on a high note and is ready to move on to the next thing. "There's lots of things that I want to do in my life and in my career," she said, "and it's been an extraordinary opportunity and extraordinary character and I am hugely grateful."
Anderson isn't only saying goodbye to The X-Files, though; she also announced at the same TCA panel that she's leaving Starz's American Gods (executive producer: Stefanie Berk). Her reason for leaving that show, which is based on Neil Gaiman's novel that pits new and old mythical creatures against each other, was a little different. ”I’m not doing any more American Gods. Bryan and Michael Green aren’t either, as has been announced,” Anderson, who played "Media," said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Variety reported back in November that American Gods showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green were leaving the show after "clashing with producer FremantleMedia over budget and creative direction." EW reported that American Gods star Kristen Chenoweth may also leave the show in solidarity with Fuller, who she also worked with on Pushing Daisies. American Gods is set to air Season 2 later this year, but has yet to name new showrunners.
As for the fate of The X-Files, well, that's still up in the air. Earlier this month, creator Chris Carter told Collider he would not continue The X-Files without Anderson. “For me, The X-Files is Mulder and Scully. I think if it were without Scully, I wouldn’t do it," he said. "That’s not my X-Files.”
Last week, though, at a different TCA panel, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman said another season of The X-Files was still up in the air being that "some days you’d get a ‘yes’, some days you’d get a ‘no'" when you ask the stars and creator about filming more episodes. "I would not exclude the possibility that there would be more," Newman said.
The Mulder to Anderson's Scully, David Duchovny, didn't say whether he'd be back for another, telling the reporters he would be “good either way.” But, in an interview with Los Angeles Times, Duchovny noted that “Gillian said it's been it before...," giving some hope that maybe this won't really be the end.
As for what his future X-Files plans are, theactor told the L.A. Times he didn't want to look too far ahead. "I'd rather not even dwell on the hypotheticals of it," he said. "I'd rather just enjoy these 10.” And the truth is, if fans enjoy them, there's a good chance The X-Files will be back too — this time without Anderson.