The actor told journos at the Fox TCA session for the program, “I’m very nervous. Without patting ourselves on the back so hard, I feel we’ve made eight strong years [of ’24’]. I was very proud of those eight years, so to open that up again and make 12 episodes, and not make them the best 12 episodes…it’s frightening. I’m about as anxious and wound up as I’ve been in a long time.”
Fox plans to bow “Live Another Day” in May, which leaves a mere three and a half months between the creatives and the debut — and the show has not started production yet in London.
Sutherland, who noted he was born in London, said he feels “very comfortable” in the city, though he knows how difficult traffic can be.
“We plan to shoot outside,” the thesp said. “Things will be blowing up — cars, double decker buses. I’m sure we will be hated by a large portion of London for snarling their traffice, I apologize in advance! It will be very exciting to shoot with the Tower of London in the background. This is a huge opportunity from a storytelling point of view, as well. In this arc, we’ll be following the president and the prime minister.”
Sutherland, the “24” exec producers and Mary Lynn Rajskub were able to offer a few teaser tidbits regarding what auds can expect from the “24” event series.
“The show does take place over a 24 hour day even though it’s 12 episodes,” said exec producer Manny Coto. “That opens up the possibility of jumping ahead a few hours.”
James Heller will now be President James Heller in “Live Another Day.” Chloe has joined the “free information” movement, according to the exec producers, and will have a “Snowden-like” role — and be pitted against Agent Jack Bauer during the beginning of the 12 segs. Drone issues will also be explored.
“Jack is still hunted when the show begins,” explained Coto. “What will come today is a character, a CIA agent, who has been on the hunt for Jack. The show will open with that dynamic — a CIA agent hunting Jack where in their minds he’s not quite Osama Bin Laden, but he’s a fugitive of high order. Someone to be captured. We will learn Jack has a mission. Whether it’s a good mission, a dark mission…We don’t know. As the CIA comes closer and closer to him, Chloe comes into the picture. She is damaged over the four years [since the show left off]. She has turned against the government.”
Despite the use of phrases like “Snowden-type character” during the “24” panel, the exec producers were adamant about the series and forthcoming event series not swaying in any political direction.
“The show is extremely apolitical,” Coto noted. “The idea that it’s right or left…it’s baffling.”
Creatives also shot down any assertion that the Chloe/Jack dynamic will resemble the Carrie/Brody dynamic from “Homeland.” In fact, when a reporter inquired about “24’s” relation to “Homeland,” creatives quipped on stage, “What’s that?”
Mary Lynn Rajskub’s casting experience for the “24: Live Another Day” event series had a serious social media edge, according to the actress.
“It was a strange two month period where every day on twitter…I was checking to see if i would be in [‘Live Another Day’]!” Rajskub admitted. “…It was nice on twitter but really strange. I have people who refuse to call me anything but Chloe. It was a nice surprise. I never thought ’24’ would come back, or in this format. I’m ready for it to start up again!”
As for the “24” gracing the silver screen, don’t count on that prospect anytime soon.
Sutherland described the notion of a “24” pic as an “ongoing situation” with a script that is “very different” from the event series. But, the team is “really primarily focused” on “Live Another Day.” Coto added, “We haven’t really thought about where the movie would be.”
Howard Gordon is looking forward to a shorter episode order compared to “24’s” series run, which the exec producer described as a “marathon.”
“It was really punishing,” Gordon said. “This [12-episode order] feels like we can catch our breath a little.”
A moment in the room that drew quite a few laughs was the creatives joking they’ve had to “check Wikipedia” to figure out if characters were still viable for the “Live Another Day.”
“We were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if this president character could be Heller?'” Evan Katz said. “And he was alive!!”