Evan Katz and Manny Coto tell Hollywood Insight that all it’d take for them to return would be “an interesting take on Jack.”
24: Live Another Day managed to unleash a finale even bleaker for Jack Bauer than his 24 series finale sendoff four years ago.
Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is in custody of the Russians, Audrey (Kim Raver) is dead and poor President Heller (William Devane) doesn’t have long before Alzheimer’s leaves him unable to even remember Audrey. But is there still time to turn it around and get Jack out of Moscow?
Showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto say more 24 is definitely a possibility.
“All it really takes is a story that fires us up. That’s what got us excited about doing this season,” Coto told The Hollywood Reporter during a call with reporters. “I think what would draw us back if that were ever to happen – and that’s definitely up in the air – would be we or somebody presents an interesting take on Jack, on Jack’s character, and where he is, which would suggest a great season.”
While Audrey’s death was painful for Jack, it was even worse for President Heller, whose only small comfort is that he will forget that pain. Coto said he drew inspiration for Heller’s grief from his own parents, who lost a child.
“Having seen how my parents reacted to such a tragedy, there really is almost no tragedy worse than to lose one of your children,” Coto said.
Coto considers Heller’s Alzheimer’s an extra layer to his loss.
“It’s a very dark place. It’s a thought that’s tinged with an even greater layer of tragedy, not only the fact that he’s going to forget his daughter, but he’s also going to forget the fact that she died in this horrible way. It felt like an honorable way to touch upon his situation this season,” Coto said. “Devane played it beautifully. It was one of his best moments in the season. We were very happy with the way it came out.”
The finale also marked the first time the show made a time jump, going ahead 12 hours for the final scenes of the episode.
“We always had the feeling that to do time jumps throughout the season didn’t feel right to us,” Coto said. “At a certain point we realize where the season was building…given that tragic ending we knew we wanted a denouement. A sequence that would take place after people had processed what’d happened. We knew that would be a good place for a time-hour time jump.”
The showrunners also addressed concerns that Bauer might have become too hardened this season – noting he’s not the same character we met in season one because of all the trauma he’s experienced.
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“Kiefer is playing him very true to this battered, beaten-up character who has survived all of these losses of people he loved, and has now been an on-the-run terrorist, according to his own government,” Katz said.