The X-Files 2

Twentieth Century Fox

The title is out there.

Sci-fi mastermind Chris Carter has revealed that his franchise's much-anticipated big-screen sequel has been dubbed The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

"It's a natural title," Carter told the Associated Press. "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."

Awkward though the title may seem to the casual viewer, the newly announced name should be instantly recognizable to fans of the long-running TV series.

"I Want to Believe" was the slogan that graced the UFO poster that hung in the basement office of FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).

According to Carter, he and cowriter Frank Spotnitz had settled on the name from the moment they began penning the screenplay, but had to hold off on going public with it until 20th Century Fox decided whether or not it was a marketable title.

Studio execs only signed off on the title Wednesday morning.

I Want to Believe may also prove to be a familiar sentiment for fans who have waited 10 years for sequel to hit the big screen. The original X-Files movie opened in theaters back in 1998 and the series itself ended its nine-season run on Fox in 2002.

According to Carter, the follow-up, a stand-alone story revolving around a supernatural mystery rather than an extension of the show's sometimes obtuse mythology, aims to reward die-hard fans and attempts to appeal to general moviegoers not necessarily familiar with the TV show.

"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 told the wire service, adding that he realized not everyone was equally engrossed in the original series.

"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. If you're 20 years old now, the show started when you were four...So there's a whole new audience that might have liked the show. This was made to, I would call it, satisfy everyone."

In addition to Duchovny and Anderson, the film features the motley crue of Xzibit, Amanda Peet and Billy Connolly, though little is known about their roles. The filmmakers have also kept a lid on whether X-Files mainstays like Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) or the Lone Gunmen will be appearing.

"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."

The X-Files: I Want to Believe is due out July 25.

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