Keifer Sutherland is set to star in a new action web-series called The Confession from Digital Broadcasting Group. The 24 star is also the creator of the ten episode series, which was written and directed by Brad Mirman, and co-stars John Hurt. The series premieres on Hulu in March.
The actor is also talking about the current state of the film spin-off of 24 - delivering news that the project is far from dead!
Each episode of The Confesssion will be five to seven minutes long, and the plot centers on a hit-man confessing his sins to a priest on a snowy Christmas Eve. The story features flashbacks as the hit-man tells the priest how he came to visit him, climaxing with a twist. You can check out the teaser for the series here.
Sutherland talked to EW about the genesis of the series:
“It came about in such a different way. I was meeting a couple friends of mine, who wanted to introduce me to Chris Young (CEO of Digital Broadcasting Group). I know so little about the internet, but that’s what a lot of friends do for work. Most of that stuff being produced for the internet is comedy, very much like Jackass kind of material, which is great but didn’t appeal to me. Chris started talking about wanting to do a drama, but his criteria was so different. A drama in five-minute episodes! It was one of those things, like a puzzle over the course of the lunch. It can’t be that complicated to figure out a story in five minutes, right? I couldn’t, and it frustrated the crap out of me. So I went home that night, still thinking about it, and it stayed with me for three days. I was falling asleep when I literally got this idea of a confessional.”
The star shot the film last month in New York, but he stated that it was difficult, and far from the luxury of a typical Hollywood production:
“We called on a lot of favors. A dollar is a dollar. It gets you what you get. There’s no way around that, so you’re phoning dear friends for favors. None of us were paid what we normally get paid. Everybody found their own challenge in it, and that was the reason to do it. All of us believe very strongly that the internet is the future, the largest network in world, with the ability to reach a big audience.”
The series, has an interesting (if maybe clichéd) premise, and it might just be the thing that takes web-based entertainment to the next level. While the internet is filled with great comedy and some interesting horror material, it hasn’t really broken through to the mainstream . So could Sutherland’s attachment to such a project legitimize it as a form of entertainment for the masses?
It’s hard to say, at this juncture, but the main problem with a project of this kind (as stated by Sutherland in the above quote) is the length of each episode. It will be difficult to build drama in five minutes, and then sustain it over a ten episode story arc that will make viewers come back each week. It could be that viewers will just want to watch the series in its collected form, avoiding the film-makers initial intention.
As to returning to the role of Jack Bauer, Sutherland stated that there is still hope that a film version of 24 might just make it to the screen - despite the news that the recent script for project had been rejected by Fox. The gravel voiced actor said:
"We have a couple ideas we are working on that we are very excited about. 24 was a lot of work, it certainly had its ups and downs. But for so many reasons, it was one of the great experiences of my life. I miss the daily grind of it, which I was surprised about because that’s the one thing you complain about all the time. Be careful what you ask for!”
He went on to call the project "the little engine that could" and said that although State of Play writer Billy Ray's script hadn't met expectations, some of the material would still be used:
“Billy did a fantastic job and there are aspects of that story [that will remain]. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
So fans of Kiefer Sutherland and 24 can rejoice. Not only will the former Lost Boy be making an apperance on a hard drive near you with The Confession, but it looks like there is still a chance that you'll be able to see Jack Bauer on the big screen.