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Earlier this week, reports began to spread that the film based on Fox’s hit drama 24 had been shelved, with star Kiefer Sutherland disagreeing over the budget. However, Sutherland went on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to convince fans of the series that the film is still being worked on, but it will take longer than expected.
Deadline first reported early Wednesday that 20th Century Fox just suddenly decided not to move forward with the film, which would tell the further adventures of Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. Insiders told Deadline that the film is actually ready to go, with Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Sutherland as producers and a script from Billy Ray that was worked on by Mark Bomback.
There were initially two questions: was it the budget or was Fox simply nervous about when Sutherland would be able to start filming. The Wrap reported that Fox wanted to make the movie for just $30 million and to pay Sutherland just $2 million, while Sutherland was asking for $5 million. Grazer also believes that the film’s budget should be up to at least in the low $40 million range. The studio believed that the film could be made cheaply, with the rewards coming once the film reached theaters.
The other problem was scheduling. Sutherland is currently starring in Fox’s Touch, which will go on its summer hiatus starting in April. That is when the 24 movie was supposed to start production. Now, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Sutherland might not be able to commit to the entire time it takes to make the movie now, so 24 could be delayed until the next hiatus in summer 2013.
On Thursday, Sutherland went on Leno to promote Touch. He reassured fans that Jack Bauer will be coming to theaters, just later than anyone thought. “We’re trying to fit a lot of moving parts…We’re still trying...If we don’t get into this slot, we’ll do it next year,” he told Jay Leno.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Sutherland said that the script by Ray and producer Howard Gordon “finally got the script to a really amazing place.”
You can watch his interview with Leno below: