After 8 seasons worth of world catastrophes solvable within driving distance, Jack Bauer may have finally met his match- getting Fox to greenlight two consecutive hours of his shenanigans.
The “news” comes from EW that Fox has kicked the 24 script away, potentially grounding Jack Bauer forever. Of course, EW is really just running a fake “exclusive” because they received vaguely new quotes from 24 producer Howard Gordon, who gave much of the same information to Assignment X in mid-December. In that interview he stated that the script turned in by State of Play writer Billy Ray wasn’t “strong enough or compelling enough to the studio obviously, to move ahead with it”
Gordon told both outlets that Tony Scott is getting involved and pitching around ideas with Kiefer Sutherland, and in the most recent conversation had a more vaguely hopeful tone, assuring fans that “people are still talking about it.”
While the ratings of 24 slipped a bit towards the end, the premiere of the 8th season was stronger than that of the previous season, and it was still certainly one of the most successful action-dramas on network TV. There’s certainly no shortage of people who would be interesting in a film, its lead star chief among them. Kiefer Sutherland has always sounded sadly desperate for the film version, peppering mentions of it as a foregone conclusion in his every statement concerning the show for years.
So the conversation continues, and with the show having ended less than a year ago there is still time for a worthwhile idea to get momentum. That said, Gordon has definitively called the Billy Ray version of the film “dead,” so any film that develops would be starting from scratch, and every hour that ticks by (backed by a split-screen of executives drinking coffee and surfing the internet with absolutely no sense of urgency) is going to make it tougher to justify that blockbuster budget. One hopes that Sutherland won’t take to storming the Fox offices to pull fingernails, pistol-whip script readers, and generally treat them how he treats Christmas trees***. Actually, that scenario sounds like a lot of fun. Perhaps 24: The Movie would have some success if it became a meta-adventure about getting the feature film made.
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