'24' exclusive: Kiefer Sutherland calling it a day?

24kiefer_dlGood news for terrorists everywhere: With just one more year left on Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 contract, there’s a very real possibility that Jack Bauer’s career as the world’s foremost savior may end next season. And while Sutherland says he’s undecided as to whether day 8 will be his last, he’s watching the clock in a way he never has before.

“I don’t think about [the end of 24] a lot, but I did this year for the
first time,” he confesses. “It was one of those weird moments where the
stage was unusually quiet; it was like a ghost town. I was looking
around [thinking] about all the work that went into building this thing
and it hit me: This will end one day, and I’m going to be sad about it.

“Whether season 8 is the end or not, I don’t know,” he continues. “I
love making the show, so I’m leaving my options open. And in all
fairness, I think the audience will dictate that more than anybody.”

In the meantime, perhaps even more critical than determining when Jack will pack it in is how.
“There are two obvious choices: Jack dies, or Jack finally has a happy
ending,” suggests executive producer Evan Katz. “It’s actually an
interesting discussion as to which would be more faithful to the show
and more rewarding for the audience. Because if we give him a happy
ending, part of the audience would be mad at us for doing what is easy.
And if we kill him, they would be mad at us for a different reason
altogether.”

There are also the bean counters at 20th Century Fox to consider; they’ll need Jack alive if there’s to be a 24 movie franchise (as many expect there will be). “Kiefer and I have always said, ‘Jack Bauer’s gotta die,'” says fellow EP and frequent director Jon Cassar. “But then the idea of a 24 movie came up and we went, ‘Oh, okay, maybe not.’

“I always joke that Jack dies and they discover he’s been the terminator the whole time,” Cassar adds with a laugh. “That’s why he never died [and] why he can’t stay in relationships. And then they take another Jack Bauer off the rack and send him out into the world. It makes a lot of sense, but I don’t think it’ll happen.”

What kind of ending do you envision for Jack? And how would you feel if 24 were to call it a day next year (at least on the small screen)? Sound off below!

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  • MaryUtah

    I was hoping Jack would pass on the baton back when they had Chase on, maybe not to him, but the idea – and that went nowhere. I think Jack dying heroically would be how Jack would want it to end!

  • JJ

    Jack can’t die period. The show should end with him as President of the USA.

    • skbtheking

      Jack dying will be the end of the series however I absolutely forbid it you hear me do NOT kill him!!! the series should end with him back to full health and a sense of complete peace of mind and a very happy life.

    • leo

      totally agree wivv u

      • fan40

        he has a grand daughter, remember? He can’t die!

  • Andrew Jones

    I think Jack should die. And then if there is a movie, have it set in the past. That way characters like Nina Myers, George Mason, Michelle Dessler etc. can all be revived.

  • JasonHomey

    I love 24 and always have since I started watching in season 2, but somewhere around season 4-5, the same storylines kept popping up over and over again. I am not saying the show is still not good, but it has definitely lost that WOW and surprise factor it had in the early years. I do hope they end it before it becomes a joke, which was pretty much what it became last season. So far this season isn’t bad, but we are again getting a mole storyline, Jack going undercover, ect. At least it is in another location to freshen things up.

    • George

      I have enjoyed 24 from day one. Although I must say the earlier seasons were, in my opinion, better. Later seasons have a lot of insider plotting and weak personalities (past president) that quite frankly is not plausible. I just finished watching the opening 2 hours of season 8 and it is totally filled with insider plots and a weak personalty the CTU director. In my opinion this not a good portrayal of our great country. This seems to have begun with season 5 or 6 and it depicts us (the USA) as being weak which we are not and I’m losing interest. Let Jack go to LA to enjoy life with his granddaughter and end it.

      • blahh

        It’s a show, it has nothing to do with the USA being weak or anything like that. It’s FICTION, with ACTORS, and PROPS. So don’t worry, people from other places who watch this don’t think the USA is weak because of a show.

  • Josh

    I love 24, but I’m also of the “quit while you’re ahead” mindset. The show is definitely back on track after a subpar sixth season, so it kind of makes sense to produce two more kick-butt seasons and wrap it up. (Preferably with Jack alive – he’s suffered enough; let him have some peace.)
    As for a movie, I like the Lost guys’ take on it. Viewers commit eight years of their lives to a story, then have to pay $10 to see how it wraps up? That doesn’t seem fair.

  • Jessica

    I think Jack finally dying to save the world is the way it should end. I personally would laugh at him having a “happy ending” after all he’s been through. His life centers around doing whatever it takes to stop the bad guy, and in the end, it should take his life!

  • Georgia Peach

    Jack Bauer can not die! He deserves a happy ending and we deserve, at the very least, a trilogy of movies. I still say this is the best show on television. Thanks to all who makes this show as great as it is.

  • glb814

    I am not ready for the end of 24 yet. It is great, edge of your seat television and entertainment. It is a well written and extremely well acted show. We need it beyond day 8.
    As for the end…to stay true with 24 Jack must die! However, it would be great to have a 24 movie franchise for us loyalists so I’m torn.

  • kerry

    President Jack Bauer!

  • Brian C

    Dear EW.com – PLEASE leave the headlines for the Ausiello files more vague!!!!! He reveals spoilers, and some of us don’t want to read them (plus he’s annoying and I wouldn’t want to read his articles anyway). Thanks

  • bill

    He should gain the ability to fly and leave Earth for another planet in need of saving.

  • Anthony

    Good news for terrorists everywhere.. lol

  • Chuck Norris

    Jack Bauer takes off his mask and it has really been Chuck Norris this whole time

  • Lillian

    I love Kiefer Sutherland and the show wouldn’t work without him. He makes the show and brings his excellent acting ability and believability to the character. I hope he’ll stick around for awhile and I pray that when the say comes when he wants to leave that they don’t kill off Jack Bauer, that would be the biggest bummer to me.

  • rodel

    not good for president but secretary of national defense fits his character.

    • Andrea

      All I have to say is that I will be VERY upset & mad if Jack dies. Ok…if this has to be the last Season, I could deal with that (even though that makes me upset, too & wish there would be another season). But Jack dying? No way! It needs to end at least a little bit positive. I think that would be a lot better! Please please please!!!

      • Bobby

        it should end with jack bauers death because otherwise it`s no real ending..it should show that 24 is realistic, nobodys perfect..but he should die like a hero which shocks everybody..because 24 surprises the people and it should end with a shocking death and the reason he died for should be very surprising..this would be a great ending!

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