IS IT a conspiracy? The behind-the-scenes plot on The X-Files thickens almost as much as the continuing story arc on the show itself. In mid-February rumours began circulating that the series was not to move from Vancouver to LA - as had previously been suggested due to star David Duchovny's wishes. According to The Vancouver Sun newspaper, the upshot of this would be that Duchovny would in fact be leaving at the end of the current season. The report referred to the escalation in cost that would arise from the move as the main reason (an official announcement is not expected until April).
The Shine and X-Files movie star Armin Mueller-Stahl has moved up to The 13th Floor, an SF thriller in which he will play the inventor of an expansive virtual reality system.
New Mr Freeze
The upcoming effects-orientated Christmas movie Frost, which lost Batman & Robin star George Clooney, has instead gained another Dark Knight, Michael Keaton for the lead role.
The prolific Heather Graham (Twin Peaks, Boogie Nights, Scream 2 and the Lost in Space movie) is playing Kenneth Branagh's 'wife' in Danny Boyle's Alien Love Triangle, now filming in the UK. It's a typically unusual role for Heather - she's a male alien disguised as a female human. Courteney Cox (Friends and the two Screams) has also been in discussions to join the cast.
The New Toys
Disney has decided that the Pixar-produced sequel to Toy Story will get a cinema release in the US this Summer. Originally the follow-up to the 1995 hit was intended as a quick straight-to-video release, but the studio now believes that it "has all the right ingredients to be another hit".
Still in the Courts
Francis Ford Coppola seems to have been spending more time with lawyers than movie producers of late. A court case he instigated over Contact has just been thrown out by an LA judge. Coppola alleged that he was owed a share of profits from the movie because he and late author Carl Sagan had planned to make Contact as a TV series in 1975 - when it was still a work in progress. Coppola says he will appeal.
A full 20-episode series of the weird and sometimes wonderful Lexx: The Dark Zone Stories has gone into production for an initial showing in Canada later this Autumn. The original cast of this Canadian/German series returns, joined by two new regular characters.
[Reports of] David Duchovny leaving the series official word in April'