The moderate success of FOX’s 24 return helped fuel speculation that The X-Files could similarly prove a prime candidate for a limited series, and according to rumor, a Mulder and Scully reunion is closer than ever. FOX is reportedly preparing to greenlight a new X-Files series, albeit with one major limitation.

We’re taking this one with a minor grain of salt for the moment, as despite the sheer likelihood of FOX cashing in on X-Files fandom with an event series return, for now, no official orders have been given. That said, TVWise claims that FOX has entered negotiations for a “short-stack” limited series, somewhere between 6-10 episodes, with production eyed for this summer.

As to the limited order, series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have been understandably difficult to schedule of late, between Anderson’s work with Hannibal and The Fall, and Duchovny’s impending NBC summer series Aquarius. Other “key” cast members are also thought to return, while a more formal offer has reportedly been extended to Mitch Pileggi as well.

Negotiations with series creator Chris Carter have also influenced the potentially shorter order of an X-Files return, aiming to wrap up the overall story threads ignored by the franchise’s second feature film, I Want to Believe. Writer-producer Carter has also eyed series scribe Frank Spotnitz to return, though his involvement with the third season of Tandem’s Crossing Lines may complicate the possibility.

We’d expect FOX would officially announce any X-Files return closer to the May upfront presentations, though the chatter could certainly provoke an earlier confirmation. Would a limited series be enough to wrap-up The X-Files more conclusively than any past attempt?