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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Disenfranchised Millennium Junkie? Here's How to Bring Back Frank Black!

One of the more fervent cult TV viewer followings in recent years has amassed around the short-lived Millennium--you know, that other show from Chris Carter. Featuring Lance Henriksen as a psychic former FBI profiler, the show lasted all of three seasons. Not too bad, but most definitely not long enough for its many rabid followers. After all, Star Trek only lasted three seasons too, and that didn't sit well with fans, either.

Anyway, it just so happened that the fans decided to do something to right this wrong, and bring back the late 1990s genre TV standout in the form of a movie continuation. Especially one fan in particular--Troy L. Foreman, editor of BacktoFrankBlack.com, a website campaign begun last year, which has been getting a bit of buzz as of late. Foreman took some time out recently to answer some questions regarding the Millennium crusade:

Tell me a bit about how the campaign first got started.
Lance appeared at the Collectormania Convention in Manchester, England in 2008. When questioned if he had a role in the then unreleased second X-Files feature he hinted to the audience that he did. As a result of this, speculation spread like wildfire on the internet that Frank Black was coming back, and Millennium became a hot topic once again. When Carter officially denied this, excited fans were disappointed, and during an interview with Spotnitz, the interviewer asked if there would ever be a Millennium movie or a return of Frank Black. Spotnitz said this was unlikely, and the more time passed the more unlikely it became. If the idea was ever to stand a chance the fans of the series needed to light a pretty big fire under the folk at 20th Century Fox.
We took this as a direct appeal to fans to begin making noise. It became apparent that the folks at TIWWA wanted a campaign, so a team was selected and roles were assigned. Graham P. Smith agreed to allow BTFB to function as part of his online Millennium network and BTFB was born. It took a small team of us (about eight, maybe ten) to go from nothing to having the bare bones of a website and campaign in action in just over a week. The rest is history.

What has the reception been from FOX thus far? Any interaction?
There has not been an official response from FOX as of yet. We were sending our letters and postcards initially to Michael Broidy of FOX, but after a while, we found out from Frank Spotnitz that he was not the person to send them to. After doing some digging around, we were given the name Steve Asbell, and that is who we are focusing our attention on right now. The people behind XFN (Xfiles News) who are trying to get a 3rd X-Files movie made, were lucky enough to get a meeting with Michael Broidy and during the meeting, he stated that he had been receiving many postcards from fans of the show Millennium. So at least we know they were getting there!

How did Lance get involved personally with your cause, and what is his personal stand on all this?
Lance has been nothing short of fantastic as far as our campaign is concerned. We contacted him initially about BacktoFrankBlack, and he is 100 percent behind us. Anything we need from him, he said just ask. He wants a Millennium movie made, because he thinks there are things that need to be tied up that weren’t in the Millennium episode from X-Files.

Where does Chris Carter stand on this? Has he been receptive?
We had been trying to get in touch with Chris Carter since the beginning of the campaign. There had been a statement or two from him over the years that he would possibly like to do a Millennium project. We were finally able to get Chris on our podcast, and we asked him if he thinks there will be a Millennium movie. He said it depends on FOX and that he would be interested in doing something, it would just take him sitting down with Lance and talking about it.

At what point did you realize that there was actually a lot of support out there for your cause?
After the show went of the air in 1999, a group of fans got together and created a fourth season of Millennium, a virtual season. When I came across this, I did some more digging and found several forums and websites dedicated to Millennium. The one that stands out is a website called Millennium – This Is Who We Are, which is run by Graham P. Smith. Never had I seen such a comprehensive, in depth website like this before. If you are a fan of Millennium, you should definitely check out that website. There is also a forum called TIWWA, also run by Graham. There you could see that Millennium still had many fans who wanted to see more Millennium!

What's been the most encouraging sign thus far? The toughest obstacle?
I think one of the most encouraging signs for the return of Millennium has been the response from the cast and crew, from Lance, the writers, directors and actors, they would all like to see Millennium return to the big screen. Whenever we approach anyone about doing something for the campaign, they are more than happy to help in any way they can. We have been approached by director Brett A. Hart, who directed Lance in the movie Bone Dry. He has offered to direct a Millennium movie for free. Although we have the support of all these people, our biggest obstacle is FOX Studios. They hold the rights to Millennium and right now, they have no plans to do any Millennium project.

Give me your ideal scenario for the return of Millennium.
I would like to see Millennium return as a theatrical release, that would be the ultimate goal. If not, a straight to DVD or even an HBO movie would be great as well. Lance has stated that he does not want to do another series as it was very hard on him, but a movie would be the best option. We also approached Big Finish about possibly doing an audio adaptation of the series. We found out from one of the people behind the company that they did approach FOX about obtaining the rights to do an audio version of the show, but that the price was too high. We posted a story not too long ago were Lance was approached by several independent film investors who were looking to put money behind a movie, we posted this on the web and it completely went viral. In just over two days, it was posted on over 150 sites. It was crazy.

What do you think caused the show to disappear in the first place?
I personally think Millennium was definitely ahead of its time. It was also a very dark show and that did turn off not only viewers, but sponsors--which didn’t help its position with FOX. The main reason it was canceled was the ratings. It was given the kiss of death time slot of Friday nights at 9pm. Also, each season is different due to show runners and writers coming and leaving the show. There was no continuity to the series, and that may have hurt it as well.

From your informed perspective, what would you say are the chances of success at this point?
To be honest, if I didn’t think that we had a chance to get this movie made, I would not have joined this campaign. I believe 100 percent that we will either get a theatrical release or a straight to DVD film. Our campaign is a little over a year old and we have made great strides in such a short time. We know that FOX is aware of us and the big names behind the show are supporting us, I truly believe that this will happen. When? Only FOX knows that answer, but you can bet that BacktoFrankBlack will still keep pushing for a Millennium movie!

For more information on the cause, visit BacktoFrankBlack.com


Cie Cheesemeister said...

I really enjoyed this show. Lance Henriksen is a superior actor, one of my favorites. Quite an underrated talent. I liked Millennium better than I did the X Files, quite (ahem) Frank-ly.
(ducks flying objects.)


Count me in as preferring Millennium to X-Files... I wish it had gone on longer.

And I know many fans didn't like the 3rd season but I thought it was quite good.

DM said...

I loved Millennium because it was so much darker than everything else on TV. The show was highly underrated and it's unfortunate that, even today, there's nothing else out there that comes close.

Joshua said...

I was a fan of Millennium when it was on TV. I even have the boxsets on DVD. I would like to see a Millennium movie. They should devote the time on making this happen as opposed to making another X-Files movie failure.

Troy L. Foreman said...

Guys, thank you so much for taking the time to read the interview I did with Vault of Horror. Millennium was a great show and we are working very hard at BacktoFrankBlack to get it on the big screen!

Al, don't fret my friend, I am also a big fan of Season 3!

Make sure you head on over to the website and send those postcards and letters to FOX!

the jaded viewer said...

I'd like them to bring back Lone Gunmen instead...(hmm maybe they can't do that)

AndyDecker said...

Great show with a great actor. Even if the third season was weak, to put it politely, and the "last" episode with Frank Black on the X-Files which was just terrible.

Never will understand how the whole franchise could go so wrong in its last seasons.

Graham Smith said...

Excellent interview!

VoH, thanks for taking the time to highlight Millennium and the B2FB campaign.

B-Sol said...

My pleasure, Graham!

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