If you were sad to see Fox’s landmark action series 24 end last year after nine years on the air, you can rest assured that we haven’t seen the last of Jack Bauer. Not only can you enjoy the show’s eight seasons on DVD/Blu-ray, there’s also a 24 movie on the way.
As many of those involved with 24 have previously said (particularly Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland), the series being over now clears the way for a 24 movie as the insane shooting schedules for the show made a simultaneous movie release pretty much impossible.
There has been talk of a 24 movie for literally years now and in February 2009 State of Play screenwriter Billy Ray was hired to write the script. Last April, Sutherland confirmed that the 24 movie was finally on the way, with Ray’s script already finished. As it turns out, things haven’t gone as smoothly as hoped; Fox has reportedly turned down Ray’s 24 script.
Show producer Howard Gordon recently spoke exclusively to EW where he told them the news that the movie version is stuck in place for the time being:
“As far as I know, it is in suspended animation… There is talk about re-approaching it. I understand (director/producer) Tony Scott is meeting with Kiefer to talk about ideas. People are still talking about it.”
“I was disappointed [Fox] passed on the script but I’m certainly hopeful that the movie will get made at some point… Anecdotally, I’ve heard from people who are really missing the show and I do think there is more life in Jack Bauer.”
I definitely think the latter is true: there is more life left in Jack Bauer. Yes, he may have had eight day-long marathons of trying to stop terrorists but as they say you can’t keep a good anti-terrorist agent down (they do say that, right?). Bauer is one of the best TV characters of all time and with the type of action/thriller series that 24 was, I think it was pretty much inevitable we’d get a big-screen version sooner or later.
While the 24 movie remains in need of a greenlit script, the plan appears to remain the same – to get rid of the real-time featured in the series. At best guess, instead of having the minute-by-minute structure the film will just be one two-hour movie that takes place over the course of a day.
Now that may sound like it’s taking away the whole point of 24 (one of the reasons it was so damn addictive and engaging as a show) but if you think about it, it means that Jack can go to other countries without us having to watching him traveling in real-time. As Sutherland has previously said, this allows Jack to travel to the catastrophe instead of the catastrophe always coming to his doorstep.
So it looks like it’s going to be later rather than soon for the 24 movie to finally come to fruition. But hey, we’ve waited this long – we can wait a little longer, right?
Stay tuned for news on another draft of the script or perhaps even a new screenwriter altogether.