1:49pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Comic-Con: '24: Legacy' Bosses Discuss Possible "Intersection" With Jack Bauer
Fox's forthcoming 24: Legacy centers on a new universe and a new main character (Corey Hawkins) racing against the clock.
However, many of the questions at the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel tied back to the original series' protagonist, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).
"There may be an intersection with those original characters down the line," executive producer Evan Katz teased Sunday. "Anything is possible."
Jack's future was left up in the air at the end of the 2014's 24: Live Another Day. "He's in Russia probably having a terrible time in prison," Katz said with a chuckle.
"I think all of us want to finish that story. We all love that character," exec producer Manny Coto said about another possible iteration of 24 centered on Jack Bauer. "Right now, we're not planning that. Right now our plan right now is to tell this story."
While it is structured in the same style as the original series, 24: Legacy centers on a new cast of characters led by military hero Eric Carter (Hawkins). He returns to the U.S. but trouble follows him back — which motivates him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks in America.
The idea for the new characters came about partly because "we all felt, Kiefer included, that Jack Bauer had told his story with Live Another Day," executive producer Howard Gordon said.
(For his part, Sutherland is still an executive producer on the series and is "way behind it," Gordon said, after having read the pilot script and seeing the pilot.)
Hawkins said his character's military background is a big part of what separates him from Jack Bauer. "He's a soldier and he's not used to dealing with … the rules of engagement are different," said the actor. "He struggles with that internally in terms of protecting his home and his family but also his responsibility to his country."
The writers said they were inspired specifically by the soldiers who killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 and what happened to them after they returned home. "These, essentially, superheroes who had to integrate back into society and just didn’t fit," said Katz.
But just like Jack, "he has his flaws and he, over the course of the season, he's going to be forced to make a lot of morally questionable decisions," said Hawkins. "For me, he really is a new hero for a new day."
Although some have labeled 24: Legacy a "reboot," Coto argued otherwise. "This is actually more of an expansion of the 24 universe," he said. "This is a new story, a different story being told in the same 24-hour format."
That format will include split screens and onscreen clocks, the producers said, as well as a time jump sometime during the first season since there won't be 24 episodes to cover the entire 24 hours in a day.
Also? "A lot of running," Hawkins said.
Once again, the questions circled back to Jack Bauer and whether Hawkins will say his signature phrase of "Damnit."
"He might," Hawkins said with a laugh. "It's a long day."
24: Legacy is set to premiere in February on Fox. Watch highlights from the Comic-Con panel below.