The X-Files season 11 has cast former child star Haley Joel Osment in a mystery role within a Walter Skinner-centered episode. Considering how well The X-Files season 10 performed in the ratings back in early 2016, it was never really a question that FOX would opt to give hungry X-Philes some more Mulder and Scully adventures to chew on. It may have taken almost two years to happen, but the FBI's most unwanted will soon be back investigating the paranormal once again.
Osment is still probably best known for his work as a child star, especially in M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense and Steven Spielberg's A.I. Despite his young age, Osment's performance as Sixth Sense's supernaturally gifted Cole Sear was actually nominated for an Oscar, making him one of the youngest people on record to be up for the award. Cole's signature line "I see dead people" when revealing his gift to Bruce Willis' character became a pop culture catchphrase, and is still closely associated with the actor to this day.
According to TV Line, FOX has yet to provide details on the role that Osment will play during X-Files season 11, but it is at least known that he'll appear in an episode centered on Mulder and Scully's boss, FBI assistant director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). The episode will serve as a sort of origin story for Skinner, delving into his past, and exploring what made him who he is.
Despite Skinner's long-held status as Mulder and Scully's most trustworthy ally - a status which the season 11 trailers have suggested might be in jeopardy - The X-Files has never really dug deep into his background, or taken a close look at why exactly he's one of the only higher-ups within the bureau that seems to have a firm sense of ethics. There's been a few times where it's appeared that Skinner had finally fallen into the Cigarette-Smoking Man's pocket, but at the end of the day, Skinner has never failed to risk both his job and his life to help his friends/employees.
Back at NYCC, X-Files creator Chris Carter made it known that Skinner's origin episode will introduce fans to a younger version of the character, so one wonders whether Osment - most recently of HBO's Silicon Valley - might be set to play Skinner's younger self. On the other hand, there is little physical resemblance between the two actors, so it seems more likely that Osment will be portraying someone important from Skinner's past.
The X-Files season 11 premieres in early 2018 on FOX.
Source: TV Line