European Vacation for Grandpa Jack?
While this rumored last season of "24" is having its ups and downs, it seems like a good enough time to break out the feature film rumors again. Jack ratings may be down a little (actually, 11.4 million for the 8th season premiere seems pretty decent to me), but he's not out. If Fox doesn't pick up a ninth season, a big screen adaption could be a nice send off for our beloved hero and on the current playing field it could even set up a reboot or prequel. Wouldn't you just love to see Taylor Lautner as young Jack, ripping out Robert Pattinson's eyebrow hairs one by one? Or this tag line: Zack Efron IS Jack Bauer!
OK, I'm freaking myself out here. Back to the news -- according to Variety, Twentieth Century Fox film has already hired Billy Ray ("State of Play," "Flightplan") to pen the script. The plan is to send Bauer to Europe because you know, Europe is cool and Jack can drink cappuccinos at those little sidewalk cafes in between rounding up the bad guys for some R-rated torture. At least, I hope it'd be R rated because Jack could use a little action on the side while he's saving us from Europe. Apparently Kiefer Sutherland and the Fox execs are both eager after hearing Ray's pitch. But to keep things in perspective, Kiefer's probably looking at a future with Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab and the Fox executives also approved this season's Emo Renee. On the upside, the 2008 television film 24: Redemption was pretty damned good and ended up receiving a Golden Globe nomination and five Emmy nominations. Redemption kept the best of a 24 season giving Sutherland a good deal of serious screen time, and it left out all the extraneous, silly subplots and characters that help drag the TV series over a whole season.
All in all, if the script is done right and the film is kept to the things 24 does well (action, torture, Jack!), this could end up being a solid entry in the franchise. The big question (apparently for Fox as well, since they're still holding back approval to watch ratings) is whether Jack Bauer is a theater draw. And even as an avid fan, I'd have to say I would probably wait for the DVD.