March 27, 2010 / 2:19 AM / in 9 years

"24" producer: "We really swung for the fences"

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Howard Gordon, executive producer and showrunner of “24,” spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the Fox network’s decision Friday to cancel the series after its current eighth season and what’s next for the show’s central character, Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland.

THR: What’s next for “24?”

Howard Gordon: There are other possible iterations of Jack Bauer and his world — whether a movie or some other sort of scenario. We’re developing the movie; Billy Ray (“State of Play,” “Shattered Glass”) is writing it. It depends on how well it comes out and Fox’s appetite. Most importantly it’s about ending the show right and doing it with the same level of intensity and commitment that we started with.

THR: When’s the soonest that fans could realistically expect a feature film?

Gordon: Obviously the script’s still being written. It could be as early as next year depending on how things come together.

THR: Since the setting shifts to Europe for the movie, will the Counter Terrorist Unit still play a role?

Gordon: Yes and no. Jack is really the center of it, catching up with him emotionally and locationally where he is. The opportunity is not to use the real-time aspect and also to do it on a scale the TV show never allowed.

THR: You never pitched an idea for next season?

Gordon: We couldn’t come up with something that really satisfied us. We’ve done everything we feel we can do with that character in this format.

THR: How did ending the show come about?

Gordon: It helped that this was the end of a lot of peoples’ contracts. There was a deal finiteness in place. Also, every year is a high-wire act. We all look at each other and ask, ‘Can we really do this again?’ and it’s not with complete conviction that we say, ‘Yes.’ As an act of faith and effort, we get through it. This year Kiefer said it felt like the senior year of high school.

THR: How do you want “24” the series to be remembered?

Gordon: We loved this show from the very first hour to the last hour, so I hope people think of it being consistently at that quality and that it never dipped too terribly — except for Season 6.

THR: Can you tease to the rest of the season?

Gordon: We’ve taken a risk in the last eight episodes. It was challenging to the writers and to the actors. We’re taking a risk; the show has to do that. Without spoiling what’s to come, it’s pretty dark and complex and a place that was uncomfortable for us to write and for some of the actors to act. We really swung for the fences. Because the show is as old as it is, this season hasn’t really been given its due. But our audience is hanging in there with us, and I think it’s been a very successful season.

THR: How has this decision affected the ending creatively?

Gordon: There have been a couple other season enders that would have been spectacular series enders — Season 4, Season 5 and last year. I was more aware this time of ending something that really felt surprising but not cheap; emotionally consistent. Some will throw their shoes at the screen, inevitably some will be angry, some will say they hated it the last three years. You can’t please everybody, you can only do the best you can do. I’m hoping people lean forward. I’m hoping the first feeling people have is, “Damn I miss it, I want more.”

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