'X-Files' veteran Frank Spotnitz developing new action series
EXCLUSIVE: With the premiere of the action series "Strike Back," fans of the "The X-Files" have gotten a chance to sample the latest work from one of that series' key figures. Frank Spotnitz, a writer and executive producer on the seminal Fox show, is a co-executive producer and writer on "Strike Back," which is currently airing on Cinemax.
Now Spotnitz will develop a new show with the pay cable network. And like the adventures of Mulder and Scully, it will also feature a strong, sometimes butt-kicking female character.
Plot details for the as-yet untitled series are still coming together, but the show will focus on a female security operative who goes undercover with a private military contractor. Its protagonist will merge elements of strong-willed hacker Lisbeth Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and resourceful government agent Evelyn Salt in the Angelina Jolie action film "Salt," according to a person who was briefed on the project but not authorized to talk about it publicly because the show is in development. Cinemax confirmed the new deal with Spotnitz.
After years of toiling in movie re-airs and late-night series, HBO sister network Cinemax is trying its hand at original prime-time programming (more on that effort in this Sunday's Times). Executives have already made some other notable creator deals: Alan Ball and Luc Besson are both developing shows with the network.
Spotnitz, who was nominated for multiple Emmys for his work on "The X-Files," has undertaken several projects since the Fox show went off the air in 2002. He executive-produced the crime procedural "Robbery Homicide Divsion" at CBS and also co-wrote "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," the show's 2008 spinoff film.
Other "X-Files" veterans have gone on to prolific cable careers: Vince Gilligan, also a key figure on the show, has gone on to create and executive produce the AMC hit series "Breaking Bad."
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully in "The X-Files." Credit: Fox