'24' went off the air more than a year ago, but the clock keeps ticking on a possible '24' feature film. The movie seemed very close to being made last year when a script was commissioned and action vet Tony Scott was approached to direct, but 20th Century Fox rejected the screenplay, sending the project back to square one.
This week, with such '24' alumni as executive producer Howard Gordon and costar Mary Lynn Rajskub attending the semi-annual Television Critics Association confab in Los Angeles to promote their new fall shows, questions about the future of the '24' movie have arisen again. Both Gordon and Rajskub addressed the questions, and it seems that everyone on Team '24' would like to see a movie get made, but plans are still completely up in the air.
Back in February 2010, before the Fox broadcast network decided to make what was then the current ongoing season of '24' the show's last, sister studio 20th Century Fox hired Billy Ray ('Flightplan,' 'Breach') to write the screenplay. At the time, star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland suggested that the film would be a stand-alone story that would send Jack Bauer to Eastern Europe and would take place (like each season of '24') over the course of one day.
At the end of last year, however, the studio passed on Ray's script. Gordon, however, said Sutherland and Scott were still trying to come up with a new plot idea. In January, Sutherland said that a '24' movie was still going to happen, that Team '24' was "very excited" about the prospect and that he hoped the movie would start shooting by the end of this year. In February, Gordon told AOL TV, "The '24' movie is on hold for now, although conversations are ongoing."
This week at TCA, Gordon was promoting his new terrorism-themed series, Showtime's 'Homeland.' According to The Hollywood Reporter, he said that those conversations are still "definitely happening" to make a '24' feature. "There's an institutional desire to do it. I know Kiefer wants to do it, we all want to do it. It's just about finding the right script and not just doing it to do it."
The series finale in May 2010 ended the show's run on a satisfying note, Gordon said, so if a movie doesn't get made, "I will not be heartbroken." However, he said of Jack Bauer, "I miss the character terribly and I know Kiefer does, too."
If a film does get made, Gordon told the Reporter, it will take place overseas, like Ray's script, but the action will spread out beyond a single day.
Rajskub, who played Jack's most steadfast ally, computer whiz Chloe O'Brian, told TCA reporters, "I've heard nothing. I've seen nothing." According to TV Guide, she joked, "I'm rewriting the script myself."
The actress, who was best known for her comic roles before her long run on '24,' is returning to comedy this fall on the CBS sitcom 'How to Be a Gentleman.' But if Jack Bauer comes calling, she said, "I hope I can have a couple days off from 'How to Be a Gentleman' to be Chloe." And if she can't, she joked, the filmmakers can always hire Rachel Weisz to play Chloe.
Sutherland, too, has a forthcoming TV series, a midseason Fox offering called 'Touch.' So he isn't going to have a lot of free time in the near future to make a '24' flick. But then again, Jack Bauer is used to getting things done very quickly.
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