It’s been a fairly wild ride for 20th Century Fox and Brian Grazer‘s big screen version of the popular television series “24,” which starred Kiefer Sutherland as a tough-as-nails counter-terrorist secret agent with a penchant for torturing people. After shooting down “Breach” screenwriter Billy Ray‘s script almost a year ago (something we still can’t figure out), all parties remained optimistic, with both Sutherland and Grazer pegging 2012 as the year when the eventual film would shoot. Somehow, the perceived development hell that the film was mired in didn’t get to any of the principles. And, as it turns out, they were right. Deadline is reporting that Sutherland, Fox, and Grazer are all pulling the “24” movie together, to shoot as early as this spring.
While the Deadline report notes that Tony Scott is no longer attached to the project (he was tethered to it during its Billy Ray days, one assumes), but that the studio has a handful of potential directors in mind, and that the film could go into production as early as April, when Sutherland completes filming on his new midseason Fox show, the supernatural drama “Touch.” A draft should be arriving from Mark Bomback, who has recently worked on “The Wolverine” and “Shadow Divers” for the studio (and, before that, the genuinely awful “Live Free or Die Hard“), before the end of the year.
It should be interesting to see where Bomback and whoever ends up directing the project take the original series, which was a “real time” thriller wherein each episode of the season represented an “hour” in the day of an ongoing conflict, usually involving a terrorist threat to the United States (hence the title “24”), and whether or not this new script will share any DNA with the Billy Ray version, we’re pretty sure motherfuckers are going to get tortured, though. If not, well, it just wouldn’t be “24.”