When we last saw Kiefer Sutherland’s super-agent Jack Bauer on the July 14th finale of Fox’s 24: Live Another Day he was about to fly off into a very uncertain Moscow-based future. Today at Comic-Con, the actor said that “we went thorough so many ideas for that ending” and “on some level we copped out because on some level it is hard to end it.” Sutherland added that “we talked about that maybe for the DVD, we’ll have Jack take out a hand grenade and blow the Russian helicopter up — we’d never had that kind of freedom before. “ Sutherland was joined today by 24 executive producer/director Jon Cassar, who moderated the panel.
Intended as a launch for the September 30th Blu-ray and DVD release of the limited event series, the panel today started with a five-minute video retrospective of all eight seasons of 24 and 24: LAD – needless to say, Bauer kicked a lot of ass, a lot of stuff blew up and the packed Ballroom 20 loved it, erupting in a roar when it was over. The response was similar for Cassar’s later answer to an audience member’s question about a 24 movie: “We’re still talking about it.”
Aside from the brief movie mention, much of today’s panel that served as the true kickoff of Comic-Con 2014 was spent talking about making TV and what TV has become. “When I started out if you were on TV you were dead,” said Sutherland. “Part of the fear of television was playing a longer character over a long time,” he said of why film actors used to avoid getting on a TV show if they could. “Now you get to develop a character over years and the character changes,” he added, reflecting on the way the narrative of the medium has evolved — in no small part due to show like 24, ER and The Sopranos. “I’m a huge movie fan but I go to less and less movies now,” Sutherland said. When I look at Ray Donovan, or Game Of Thrones, there are so many great shows out there.” The crowd agreed as they gave the actor a rousing round of applause when he said that. The evolution of movies got some mention too from Sutherland, who has just completed the Cassar-helmed Western pic Forsaken with his father Donald. “Movies will become more interactive, I think it is clear that’s where things are going,” said the actor in response to a fan question of what he has learned form his work on video games such as Call Of Duty and Metal Gear Solid V.
In terms of making TV, Sutherland and Cassar today joked a lot about how different shooting 24: LAD in the UK was compared to the eight seasons they did in the U,S. from 2001-2010. “In Los Angeles, a police officer can basically say you can’t walk here and in London, they can’t,” he said to laughter. “People are very clear about their rights,” he added, “the sidewalk is mine — I paid for it.” Sutherland got more big laughs when he praised how helpful the “giant ant farm” of thousands onlookers were in London when they were filming. The two also noted that because of the more restrictive gun laws, they had to come up with other ways to bump off Bauer’s enemies. “In many funny ways, it kind of helped us” he added. “Jon and I had a seminal moment when we were shooting on the Thames and we were thinking of the history from the defeat of the Spanish Armada to now,” Sutherland said. “There was a texture in the UK where we got to shoot that was special.”