After eight seasons of saving the world, Jack Bauer isn't doing so well against Hollywood.
20th Century Fox has given the boot to the script penned by Billy Ray ("State of Play") that would serve as a big-screen adaptation of Fox's hit series "24." The studio said that Ray's take "wasn’t strong enough or compelling enough.”
The film would have continued the storyline of CTU agent Bauer, portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland, following the events of the series finale that aired in May 2010. It was intended to be a two-hour representation of the 24-hour time frame that embodied the series.
During its eight-year run, "24" was one of television's most popular action shows, establishing Jack Bauer as an action hero icon and reinvigorated Sutherland's career.
Although 20th Century Fox's decision puts the film on hold indefinitely, its creators are not giving up.
“As far as I know it is in suspended animation," said Howard Gordon, who served as executive producer on the series and will also produce the film adaptation. "There is talk about re-approaching it. I understand (director/producer) Tony Scott is meeting with Kiefer to talk about ideas. People are still talking about it.”
Scott has directed such popular action films as 2004's "Man on Fire," "Crimson Tide," and "Top Gun." His most recent release was "Unstoppable" starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine.
With Scott's possible involvement still in play, Gordon remains optimistic that Jack Bauer will live to fight another day.
“I was disappointed [Fox] passed on the script but I’m certainly hopeful that the movie will get made at some point," he said. "Anecdotally, I’ve heard from people who are really missing the show and I do think there’s more life in Jack Bauer.”
Gordon has other projects to fill his time while Fox decides the fate of Jack Bauer. He has two dramas in development at Showtime and NBC, and he’s promoting his thriller novel, "Gideon’s War." The audiobook version is reportedly being narrated by Carlos Bernard, who played Tony Almeida on "24."
In May, Sutherland told Entertainment Weekly in May that the series finale would tee up the movie.
“Something we’ve dealt with in the series is how the crisis always has to come to us because we don’t have time to move anywhere in a real time world," he said. "In a two-hour representation of the 24 world, planes, trains and automobiles all of a sudden become a factor because you are not required to go scene by scene in real time. That’s something I can say I am very excited about.”
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