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‘24’ Movie Scheduled to Begin Production In First Half of Next Year; Tony Scott and Billy Ray No Longer Involved

Written by on December 5, 2011 

Update: Kiefer Sutherland confirmed the “late March/early April” production start during at a TCA panel for his new series, Touch. [Deadline]

If movement’s taken place on a film version of 24 in the past two months, any and all of it has been completely silent to us regular folks. Following Kiefer Sutherland‘s mildly dubious claim that the script was nearing completion, you’d think that, if those comments weren’t in fact dubious, something would happen over the next 60 days or so. Alas.

Now, Deadline informs us that things really are cooking on the TV-to-film project; Unstoppable and The Wolverine writer Mark Bomback is set to “turn in the latest script draft by year’s end,” and five directors are currently being considered by Fox. None of them are Tony Scott. After someone’s hired, the process “will all begin happening very quickly in the early part of next year,” with shooting arranged to “match Sutherland’s availability, which begins in April.”

Good news, bad news, it seems. Personally speaking, the loss of Tony Scott — a guy whose movies I don’t like, and whose style doesn’t quite gel with the 24 aesthetic — is a plus. Maybe he’d bring something fresh to the tired franchise, but if that something is constantly changing color tones and swirling cameras, no thanks.

The minus, meanwhile, is an absence of scribe Billy Ray. I don’t take this as a big surprise; his initial draft was rejected by Fox, and Sutherland‘s screenplay comments never mentioned anyone by name. Regardless, losing the input of a talented member on a project that I’m not entirely confident in is, well, not good. And, to be honest, I wonder if this signals something wider about 24 as a whole– specifically, if Fox is playing it safe by losing names that carry their own voice, all in favor of a result that’s safer and more marketable. I mean, when a studio gets rid of Billy Ray and replaces him with Mark Bomback, the vibe I get doesn’t equate to “original.”

Are you happy to hear that a 24 movie looks like a real possibility? What are your thoughts on the new names attached?

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