Oct 4, 2015

Sutherland Says He's Done With Jack Bauer

Although notoriously fickle on the subject, Kiefer Sutherland's latest stance on another outing for his signature character Jack Bauer is decidedly unpromising. The actor told the BBC (via Dark Horizons) this week that "24 is definitely over now for me. It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given as an actor, but it's moving on without me. I want to do other things." He goes on to say that he'd like those other things to also be on television. If he sticks to this resolution, I'll be sad. 24 is great not because of its real-time format (which was groundbreaking at first, but had become tiresome already by the third season), but because of the Jack Bauer character, undoubtedly one of the greats in the pantheon of spy television. As he mentions, Fox is currently exploring options to continue the franchise on television without Sutherland or Bauer. That's a shame, because last year's "event series" 24: Live Another Day proved to be one of the show's most rewarding installments. The 12-episode season suited the material so much better than the previous 24-episode seasons, which always sagged in the middle, forced to employ lame subplots to eke out an entire day's worth of real-time episodes. But what I'd really like to see would be for Jack Bauer to return on the big screen... and then keep returning every few years until Sutherland, 47 (and already a grandfather on the show), becomes too old to shout, "Dammit, Chloe!" Fox put a lot of effort into developing a 24 movie in the years between the regular series going of the air and the miniseries comeback, but they ultimately amounted to nothing. If the hangup was figuring out how to make the real-time format work well in just two hours, I say they should just drop it. What I want to see in movies is that character, not that format. Jack Bauer could sustain a whole series of features without any storytelling gimmicks needed.

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