Since late 2011 we’ve been expecting the movie version of Fox’s hit TV series 24 to start production in spring 2012. Well, that no longer seems to be the case.

Deadline dropped the exclusive about the troubles with the 24 movie, stating that the late-spring start date projected for the movie (which has yet to be officially greenlit) has been scrapped by Fox. This timing was critical, as franchise star Kiefer Sutherland was positioning his work on the 24 movie to fit comfortably into the hiatus of his upcoming Fox TV series, Touch (be sure to read our review of that show).

Things of have gone down the proverbial slippery slope since then, as Deadline brings the update that Sutherland (who plays 24 secret agent Jack Bauer) was already less-than-pleased with a deal that would’ve seen him taking a low salary upfront, in exchange for larger backend payday. The studio also wanted prospective directors for the film (latest rumors pointing to Training Day‘s Anton Fuqua) to accept low upfront salaries. Word is that continued budgetary issues, as well as concern over Sutherland’s busy schedule with Touch, led to Fox ultimately passing on this particular window of opportunity.

A script for the 24 movie is done and at the ready; it was written by Billy Ray (State of Play) and polished by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard). Weighing heavy in the film’s corner is the fact that power-producer Brian Grazer is backing it, which means that the 24 movie has a good chance of staying alive and on Fox’s radar, rather than slipping into the developmental limbo that claims so many other film projects.

Sutherland has yet to drop a statement about the 24 movie delay, but this story is developing. Presumably the next window of opportunity to make the film would be when Touch goes on hiatus again – meaning sometime in late fall or in spring 2013, presumably.

Might be smart to start knocking the 24 movie onto your 2014 movie slate.

Source: Deadline