The X-Files: I Want to Believe is a 2008 American supernatural thriller film directed by Chris Carter and written by both Carter and Frank Spotnitz. It is the second feature film installment of The X-Files franchise created by Carter, following the 1998 film. Three main actors from the television series, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Mitch Pileggi, reappear in the film to reprise their respective roles as Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, and Walter Skinner.
Unlike the first film, the plot does not focus on the series' ongoing extraterrestrial based mytharc themes, but instead works as a standalone thriller horror story, similar to many of the monster-of-the-week episodes that were frequently seen in the TV series. The story follows Mulder and Scully who have been out of the FBI for several years, with Mulder living in isolation as a fugitive from the organization and Scully having become a doctor at a Catholic-run hospital, where she has formed a friendly relationship with a seriously ill patient. When an FBI agent is mysteriously kidnapped, and a former priest who has been convicted of being a child molester claims to be experiencing psychic visions of the endangered agent, Mulder and Scully reluctantly accept the FBI's request for their particular paranormal expertise on the case.
The film was first anticipated in November 2001 to follow the conclusion of the ninth season of the television series, but it remained in development hell for six years before entering production in December 2007 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The film premiered on July 23, 2008 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood before opening theatrically two days later on July 25. Since its release, the film has received mixed reviews from critics.