The Summer 2014 revivalt miniseries 24: Live Another Day - which, in typical 24 fashion, ended on a life-threatening cliffhanger for our protagonist - left many to wonder if Jack Bauer would survive for 'another day' again. The consistently high ratings and mostly positive critical responses have pointed towards the show restarting the clock by way of either a solo film or another offshoot followup season down the line.
Question is, would Kiefer Sutherland return for a tenth time? The answer to that lingering question is yes...and no, based on a new report concerning a 24 TV show spinoff being in the pipeline.
TVLine is reporting that Fox has a 24 spinoff (read: not a tenth season) in development - one that will maintain the signature “real-time" format and follow a new, less-seasoned male terrorist hunter in his twenties. However, the show will not be entirely without Sutherland's Jack as originally expected; instead, the fan-favorite series veteran could appear as a guest star in a number of episodes.
That said, the easiest way to weave Jack into the new storyline would obviously be placing him in a mentor-like role to the rookie antihero. 24, however, has never been known to take the easy route. Franchise overlord Howard Gordon confirmed at the Critics Choice Television Awards on Sunday that the project would find the new protagonist working alongside an older, more seasoned female agent - and not Yvonne Strahovski’s Kate Morgan, although she may appear in a recurring guest role as well.
If 24's new direction seems familiar, that's because it is. Replacing lead stars for followups or reboots is nothing new in Hollywood. In fact, just a few years ago, the Bourne franchise made a similar bait-and-switch substitution in its fourth film The Bourne Legacy, which saw Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross replace Matt Damon's titular Jason Bourne. That approach only worked moderately well for the Bourne series - will 24 have more luck?
Maybe, after nine seasons of development, it is time for Jack to pass the torch (or timer) and slip into the background. It certainly never gets old watching him pummel terrorists - or throw them out windows - but the series can only redeem, degrade, and redeem him so many times before the arc becomes tedious and emotionless. A fresh face could provide ample room for the series to grow and even become a long-term property at Fox once again. Or, worst case, another failed spinoff that 24 fans quickly forget ever happened.
We'll keep you updated on all things 24-related as more information is made available.