'X-Files' Narrows Search for Mulder Sub

The field of possible partners for Gillian Anderson for the eighth season of The X-Files has reportedly been narrowed down to four lucky actors.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, those on the short list to pinch-hit for the soon-to-be-AWOL David Duchovny include: cult actor Bruce Campbell, of the Evil Dead series and the syndicated show Jack of All Trades; aging heartthrob Hart Bochner (Die Hard, Anywhere But Here); Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba); and Robert Patrick (the liquid metal terminator of T2).

The trade paper quotes sources as saying the four tested with the Fox Network Friday for the role. Campbell’s already done a guest shot on the sci-fi Fox series (as a suburban demon), while Patrick’s turned up recently as a sad-sack gambler on HBO’s The Sopranos.

Duchovny will be gone for most of next season, which was the condition required to lure the budding director-big-screen-star back for even a few appearances on another season of the paranormal series.

Fox Television refused to comment on the casting speculation. Entertainment Weekly just debunked rumors that Sex and the City man Chris Noth, The Crying Game’s Stephen Rea, or ex-NYPD Blue guy David Caruso would climb aboard the sci-fi hit.