The X-Files Chris Carter GIllian Anderson Leaving SEason 12

X-Files Boss Chris Carter Changes Scully Stance, Says Series Could Continue 'With Gillian or Without'

In what appears to be a reversal of comments he made at the beginning of January, The X-Files creator Chris Carter now says that his sci-fi series may live on even if female lead Gillian Anderson follows through with announced plans to leave the show.

“I think that certainly The X-Files has more life in it, there are more stories to tell, with Gillian or without,” Carter recently told DigitalSpy.com, adding that nothing was certain yet and that he’d be “sorry to see her go.”

If you’re confused, don’t worry: You haven’t slipped into one of those parallel universes Mulder likes to talk about so much. A month ago, Carter affirmed to Collider that “For me, The X-Files is Mulder and Scully” and “I think if it were without Scully, I wouldn’t do it. That’s not my X-Files.”

Also in January, Anderson made it clear that she was thankful for the “extraordinary opportunity” to play Dana Katherine Scully for nine original seasons, two movies and two revival seasons. However, she told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, “I don’t want to be tied down to doing one thing for months and months… I like to be challenged as an actor. That’s why I got into this business. And it’s time for me to hang up Scully’s hat. This is it for me — I’m really serious.”

In the DigitalSpy interview, Carter said that he hadn’t been aware Anderson was planning to exit the series prior to her announcement, but he understands why she and co-star David Duchovny might want to move on to other projects. Indeed, that’s why Duchovny was missing from most of the original run’s Season 9. Carter mused that perhaps The X-Files could give Scully similar treatment if Fox greenlit a Season 12 — a decision that, given Season 11’s rough ratings, isn’t a slam-dunk.

“I always thought of David the way I thought about the child William, as an absent center. Even when he wasn’t there, he was the center of everyone’s concern, and the stories revolved around him,” Carter told the site, adding that if the series were to continue, “Scully would be a similar absent center.”

Got thoughts on a Scully-less X-Files? Hit the comments!