February 21, 2002 01:00 AM

He’ll be back. Former “X-Files” star David Duchovny will not only return for this May 19’s two-hour finale, but he will also direct an upcoming episode, say industry reports. The Fox show’s creator, Chris Carter, 44, told the Hollywood Reporter that recruiting Duchovny for the series’ wind-up was crucial to conclude the show properly and then put into place the story threads for the next “X-Files” movie feature. Duchovny, 41, exited the show last season after settling a lawsuit he filed against Fox over his share of the syndication profits from the 20th Century Fox TV production. “He sees that it’s the right thing to do, given all that we’ve done together, and it fits in with where we are taking the show” in the future, said Carter, who declined to discuss the movie, other than to say, “Everybody wants to do it, including the studio, but right now I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I just want to finish the series.” Nor would he preview the finale, though it is known that Duchovny’s character, Agent Fox Mulder, will be interacting again with Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully, who has had a new partner for the past two seasons, Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick). Duchovny also is due to direct the April 28 “X-Files” episode, based on a story idea he cowrote with Carter and executive producer Frank Spotnitz. “It’s an interesting story because it involves the return of Mulder or someone we believe is Mulder,” Carter said.

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