Friday, August 1, 2014

Comic-Con 2014: The "24: Live Another Day" Panel with Star Kiefer Sutherland and Co-Creator/Director Jon Cassar

Written by Sean Ferguson
"24: Live Another Day" is a thrilling new event series set to restart the ticking clock on the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning drama. Set and shot in London, the suspenseful event series once again will follow the exploits of heroic agent Jack Bauer (Sutherland). Four years ago, Jack was a fugitive from justice. Now an exile, he nevertheless is willing to risk his life and freedom to avert yet another global disaster. Originally premiering November 6, 2001, “24” was nominated for a total of 73 Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006. Over eight seasons, Sutherland garnered seven Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series. While the series gained global recognition, Sutherland's portrayal of the legendary character penetrated the American psyche to become part of the cultural lexicon. To celebrate their incredible run, both Kiefer Sutherland and co-creator/director Jon Cassar came to Comic-Con for a look back at the show's nine seasons with their fans.
I've been a big fan of "24" since it began and I believe the show has provided Kiefer Sutherland the best role of his career. The show itself has always been eerily prescient in its choice of terrible possible events, which has kept it one step ahead of real events. Considering that the show arrived near the events of 9/11, it provided audiences some catharsis as we knew we could count on Jack Bauer to stop whatever terrorist plot was going on. Of course, the show also became a lightning rod for controversy because of the frequent use of torture, a practice that the show took pains to portray evenly with some characters for it and some against. The one thing that show's audience could all agree on is that we're all rooting for him to save the day.
This long awaited panel started off with a bang with five minute look back at the show's nine seasons. Seeing this exciting supercut that covered the show's highlights and previous cast members, did a great job reminding everyone why we all love Jack Bauer. With the clip done, star Kiefer Sutherland and Executive Producer/Director Jon Cassar came out to wild applause. Going into the panel without seeing the final episodes I knew I was taking a chance that the ending would spoiled for me and I was right as they went into great detail on how it ended. 
If you haven't seen the last episode either then skip this spoiler section. 


The two talked about how difficult it was for them to come up with a satisfying ending to this season. They wanted a definite ending but at the same time they had so much fun reuniting that they wanted to leave the door open for a return even if it all seemed bleak for Jack. As Sutherland said, "we went thorough so many ideas for that ending" and "on some level we copped out because on some level it is hard to end it." They discussed the possibility of adding an extra scene on the eventual Blu-ray/DVD release that showed Jack escaping. Sutherland mentioned that "we talked about that maybe for the DVD, we’ll have Jack take out a hand grenade and blow the Russian helicopter up — we’d never had that kind of freedom before." 

*Spoilers end*

The two talked about how the perception of working in television has changed since the show debuted as now there's no stigma attached to it. As Sutherland said, "When I started out if you were on TV you were dead. Part of the fear of television was playing a longer character over a long you get to develop a character over years and the character changes." Now with some of the best writing being done in television it's now become quite popular to movie actors to cross over from time to time thanks "24" and other shows like "ER" and "The Sopranos." Sutherland went on to say that he's "A huge movie fan but I go to less and less movies now. When I look at "Ray Donovan," or "Game Of Thrones," there are so many great shows out there." Sutherland and Cassar also talked about the differences between filming in the U.S. and England and there were also some fun questions from the audience such as who's tougher - Kiefer or his father Donald Sutherland. Of course Kiefer said he could kick his father's ass to the delight of the crowd. 
He also talked about how he feels that videogames are becoming very interactive and that they are the future of movies. Of course, the status of the much talked about "24" movie came up, to which Jon Cassar simply said, "We're still talking about it." This panel was fun and interesting and it was great to see one devoted to "24" and it was even better to finally see Kiefer at Comic-Con. I liked that it featured only these two men because it allowed us to hear more from the two central people involved in the show. Of course, I also would have been happy if Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida), Dennis Haysbert (President Palmer), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O'Brian), Sarah Clark (Nina Meyers), Annie Wersching (Renee Walker), Gregory Itzin (President Logan), or just about any of the other fantastic supporting players that populated the show over the years. Frankly, for a show this influential and popular, it's hard to believe that it's never been showcased at Comic-Con before this, but better late than never!
If you'd like to view this panel yourself, please take a look at the videos below:

And here's some more pictures if you're interested:

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