Kiefer Sutherland smiles when he talks about anticipating the late April-early May start of production on the big-screen “24″ movie. “That’s like going home,” he says of getting back into Jack Bauer’s skin.
It’s been more than five years since the “24” team first set its sites on making a feature. Sutherland acknowledges, “That process has taken us so long; it’s such a complicated script to write. Normally, we have 24 hours to tell a story. Trying to condense it into two hours involves a lot of hard choices: What kind of story do you want to tell? How political do you want to make it? How character-driven do you want to make it?”
Sutherland was in fine form at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour this week, talking about his Jan. 25-debuting Fox “Touch” series that has him as the father of a mute, possibly autistic boy who has an astonishing understanding of numbers and their correlation to the universe. The star was also was among the notables on hand at Fox’s party at Pasadena’s historic Castle Green Hotel, where he chatted away gamely and amiably even though a small group of reporters pretty much backed him into a little space behind a grand piano. He elaborated on some of what he talked about at the earlier press conference — including the “24″ film.
As far as the answers to all those questions about how political and/or character-driven the big screen “24” will be, he laughed and said, “You’ll have to wait and see it.” He said that several “great actors have expressed interest in [acting in] it, either as an ally or villain.”
Sutherland also anticipates more big names to turn up on “Touch” — which already boasts Danny Glover as a researcher who has a handle on matters where quantum physics meet metaphysics. “Because it’s a procedural drama as opposed to a serialized show, we could get someone in and out as quickly as an episode,” noted Sutherland, who is also a producer on the series. “Or, if someone was interested in being involved in a longer arc, I’m sure we could accommodate them.”
Sutherland definitely made the most of his two years away from the TV cameras. Asked what the time meant to him, he said, “I got some rest. I got to think about other things I wanted to do. I got to do two films I was very excited about, with very different characters.” Those are Mira Nair’s upcoming “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” with Liev Schreiber and Kate Hudson, and Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” with Kirsten Dunst.
“And doing That Championship Season on Broadway. I did those things and also had some time off, and got some rest — and realized that I missed working.”