Ever since one of the most iconic television characters of all-time disappeared from our screens for the last time at the end of miniseries Live Another Day, Kiefer Sutherland has constantly been fielding questions about a return to the iconic role of 24‘s dammit-happy hero Jack Bauer.
For a while he was entirely resistant to the idea, which is understandable when he dedicated a decade of his life to the intensely physical part that saw him save the world several times over, but he’s been growing increasingly receptive to the idea. However, during a chat with Entertainment Weekly when he once again admitted he’s not opposed to more 24, he spit-balled a suggestion that’s already failed once before.
Howard [Gordon] and I talk all the time and invariably it comes up. The idea of him being brought back — I’m just spitballing — I think that’s an interesting idea. You introduce a new cast of people in their effort to get him out, and it lives on from that point. There’s a lot of ways to go about it.
I also think it’s such a great idea to take a 24-hour moment in somebody’s life that is desperate — and that could be a fireman; that could be so many different circumstances. It boggles my mind that someone hasn’t come along and said, ‘Well, we need to do this with it.’ So whether it involves me or not, I just think that to do something in real time is so clever — difficult, but clever — that I find it kind of shocking that it hasn’t manifested itself into something else and/or bigger.
I’m not more interested in one idea versus another. Joel [Surnow] and Bob [Cochran, creators of 24] came up with something really clever in this idea of telling something in real time over a 24-hour period, and I would just hate to think that it only got one swing at the bat. I was grateful to have had the opportunity. If I get to do something else with it, I would certainly jump at that. But if it were to simply grow into something else, I would be its champion there as well, because I think the story is such a good idea.
Spinoff 24: Legacy being canceled after a single season in 2017 made it perfectly clear that the audience for the series is significantly lower when Sutherland isn’t running around bludgeoning terrorists and causing massive collateral damage as the anchor that holds the story together.
If it’s already failed once, then there’s a distinct possibility it’s going to fail again, and there’s no shortage of people out there who’d agree that 24 without Jack Bauer in the lead isn’t really worth the time or effort.
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