When last we saw Jack Bauer, in the finale of 24: Live Another Day, he was being helicoptered off to Moscow by some vengeance-minded Russians who wanted to seriously harm, then kill him. Did they carry through on their nefarious plan? Could Jack Bauer, the fictional character so heroic he almost makes the real world seem safer when he’s on our TV screens, really be dead?
Sadly, it may be so. At least for now.
24 executive producer Howard Gordon tells Yahoo TV that a script for another iteration of the real-time drama is currently being written by Emmy-winning 24 writers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, and — shockingly — does not include Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer spending another day of his life saving the world from evildoers. “Evan and Manny are writing a script right now, which, for the moment is a Jack-less 24,” says Gordon, an executive producer and writer on 24 since it debuted in 2001.
“The possibility is always there for Jack… There’s an open door, basically, but I think both Kiefer and we, I think correctly, felt that this character needed a little bit of a break. We really believe that real-time concept is just a really cool narrative engine, so they’re telling a story, Evan and Manny, that I think is in the tradition of 24.”
Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman confirmed during an Upfront conference call earlier this week that the network has been developing another version of 24, but said “it’s still fairly early in the development process. So, there just would be nothing that we could tell you at this time, other than we are working on something.” Fox declined to comment further on the specifics Gordon shared with Yahoo TV.
Gordon, an executive producer of Homeland, Legends, next season’s The Frankenstein Code and FX’s Tyrant, which premieres its second season on June 16, also says there are definite plans to include some of Jack’s cohorts — “keep it in the 24-verse,” he says — for the next project, which could be a limited-run series, or more. “It could be a series like last, a limited series like [Live Another Day],” Gordon says. “But, in success, one that could hopefully go beyond its first run, become its own bonafide series.”
A 24 spinoff… maybe Yvonne Strahovski would return as Kate Morgan, the CIA agent who proved herself a worthy partner to Jack during their LAD adventures? She resigned at the end of LAD, but perhaps she returns to her government post? And another possibility that could take some of the sting out of a 24 sans-Jack: the return of fan favorite star Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida.
Former CTU agent Tony was sent to jail at the end of Season 7 for his own vengeance-minded terrorist activities, but Bernard reprised the character for 24: Solitary, a seven-minute short on the LAD Blu-ray release, in which Tony is in cahoots with a woman posing as an attorney and an unidentified voice on the phone to get his hands on plans that will help him escape the hoosegow.
Maybe he makes the exit and starts to work as a rogue cohort of Kate and Co.? Or maybe he escapes and continues his post-CTU wicked ways?
“Carlos is a great friend, and we love him,” Gordon says. “He looks great. We did have that little scene [on the Blu-ray] where we sort of teased Tony a little bit, so he’s definitely on the table.”