It’s official: The new X-Files movie, which lands in theaters July 25, will be called I Want to Believe. As many people remember, the phrase was imprinted on a poster that Mulder (David Duchovny) had in his basement office.
Series creator Chris Carter told the AP that
“It’s a natural title. 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.”
The movie will not deal with the series’ mythology — the often convoluted plot involving a government conspiracy, little green men and alien babies — but rather will resemble the standalone episodes in which Mulder and Scully investigate a paranormal event or crime. Carter said that this movie aims to bring in both new fans (who were probably too young to watch the scary show in the ’90s) and satisfy X-Philes.
“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,” he said.
In the past, episode titles have given clues to an episode’s story line, but in keeping with the tight security surrounding leaks from this new movie (the select few who were allowed to read the script had to read it in a locked room fitted with surveillance cameras), even the title is vague. And while the phrase "I want to believe" brings back fond memories (of basking in the glow of my computer screen reading tons of fanfic — I admit it!), I’m not sure it’s a title I entirely love.
Then again, I thought the title of the first X-Files movie, Fight the Future, was also weak. Maybe it’s just tough to name a film, since the title has to project an appeal for the masses and suggest what the movie will be about (e.g., Live Free or Die Hard is honestly an awesome sequel title). Some of the episodes, obviously, had weak titles as well ("all things," for example, even though it was penned by Gillian Anderson and included a lesbian kiss in the background, was in my opinion a weak title — but then again, I hate it when people write in all lowercase).
X-Files episodes with titles that I loved include "Squeeze" (episode 1.2), which perfectly indicates the nature of the beast Mulder and Scully are dealing with; "Our Town" (episode 2.24), which gives a sorta funny, sorta creepy spin on the play; "War of the Coprophages" (episode 3.12), because it cracks me up with its pseudo-seriousness; and "Pusher" (episode 3.17), which also perfectly encapsulates a monster.
I’m realizing now that I could go on forever, so I’ll leave it at that. What do you think of the title of the movie? And do you have favorite episode titles from the series?