Fans eager to see the 24 movie get going are gonna have to wait a bit longer. While all signs pointed to the feature film adaptation of the popular Fox TV series going into production this spring, Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has decided not to go forward with the film this year. Apparently budget issues are to blame, and the studio wasn’t convinced everything could be worked out in time to shoot the movie before star Kiefer Sutherland has to report back for the second season of his new series Touch this fall (if it’s renewed). Hit the jump for more, including the possibility of a film trilogy.
Billy Ray wrote the script for the film (with a polish by Mark Bomback) but Deadline notes that Ray had apparently constructed the script to play out in a three-picture arc (ie. 24: The Trilogy). This makes sense, given that the idea of fitting the real-time series into one two-hour movie was fairly daunting. The creatives involved certainly have experience with long-form storytelling, so a 24 movie trilogy isn’t a bad idea.
The studio was in the midst of honing in on a director, and they were apparently high on Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) just before the decision was made to hold off. The film could still go forward next year during Sutherland’s next hiatus (again, if Touch is picked up beyond this first season), but there’s no guarantee given that the film has yet to receive a green light. Though the quality of the series wavered throughout its run, I actually think the concept would make for an entertaining film experience. Jack Bauer is certainly an action hero in his own right, and I’m intrigued to see how the real-time experience could translate to the big screen.
Deadline notes that the film has one big factor in its favor: producer Brian Grazer. When American Gangster nearly fell apart, Grazer didn’t take “no” for an answer and put the pieces back together with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in the leads. He’s also been working steadfastly on the adaptation of The Dark Tower with director Ron Howard and scribe Akiva Goldsman. Though Universal passed on the ambitious undertaking, the trio didn’t give up and now Warner Bros. is looking to put the film on track for a 2013 production start.