Can 24 keep on ticking without Jack Bauer? Should it?
Kiefer Sutherland believes that the real-time premise is innately compelling enough to support a Jack-less revival, as Fox is planning with the recently announced 24: Legacy.
“I have said from the beginning that the real star of 24 is the idea, and I mean that wholeheartedly,” Sutherland said at the tail end of his recent Q&A with TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey (embedded and handily cued up below). Having structured the series, which ran for an original eight seasons followed by 2014’s Live Another Day revival, around the same character, Sutherland anticipates “pretty extraordinary” things to be born out of the freedom the writers and producers now have.
As reported by TVLine, 24: Legacy will revolve around a yet-to-be-cast military hero who upon his return to the States reaches out to CTU to save his life as well as help thwart a massive terrorist attack. Sutherland is in talks to serve as an executive producer on the project.
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“Whether we end up working together on it or not, I’ll be one of the first people who can’t wait to see it,” Sutherland said. “I have every faith they’ll do something cool and clever.”
That said, the actor does hope to some day, some way offer closure for Jack Bauer, who at the end of Live Another Day surrendered himself to a Russian prison.
“I have no idea if the  movie will ever happen, or Jack Bauer might end up finding his way into an episode one day and clarifying all of that, or ending all of that,” he says at the 1:21:30 mark. Sutherland was recently tapped to play POTUS in the ABC pilot Designated Survivor.
Shortly after 24: Legacy was announced, TVLine asked Howard Gordon about the idea to “start from scratch” by not using, yet possibly referencing, familiar characters in the 24-verse. “We’ve been thinking about this forever: Is 24 Jack Bauer? And for the longest time it was,” he answered, “until we all felt, after Live Another Day, that really that story has been told.”