Howard Gordon on 24 movie: Script “needed more work”

Howard Gordon
Howard Gordon

Former 24 showrunner Howard Gordon has said that although he was happy with the script, it “needed more work”, and the year delay will be a positive thing in the end.

“The status was, I would say as recently as a week or two ago, pretty positive that it was going to happen as early as this May and everyone was racing to get that to happen,” Gordon says. “And I think Kiefer and Fox — everyone — decided because of everyone’s schedule it was not a good thing to rush. No one wanted to rush it.

“It was kind of a collective decision not to do it,” adds Gordon, who produces two current TV series, Showtime’s Homeland and NBC’s Awake. “And it was really like, ‘Let’s take a beat. Let’s do this next time. Let’s take the script that we like and let’s make it better. And let’s do it with a little more composure.'”

The 24 film’s script, explains Gordon, is in good shape but will benefit for more polishing as schedules are hammered out. “I was very happy with it, but it needed more work,” he says. “And I think everyone feels like if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it really well. I mean, there’s no point in doing the movie as an exercise or as a nostalgia piece. We wanted to make it something that can stand on its own.”

Just a guess from reading between the lines of all these interviews, but I would assume that 20th Century Fox is remaining firm on the low 30 million dollar budget for the film, and thus hiring a new writer to “rework” the script by removing some of the more expensive elements. Fewer car chases or action sequences, fewer explosions, that sort of stuff.

Source TV Guide


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Well… though I am not happy with a 30 million dollar budget (that is way too low, a normal action feature costs around 70-90 million), and also not happy if the “rework” is removing the expensive parts… I can’t help but feel that “Fewer car chases or action sequences, fewer explosions, that sort of stuff” might actually help the movie. Of course I want to see Jack kill some bad guys. I want him to shove three bullets into a guys chest and still manage to find out “Where is the Bomb!!!”. But of course, as you probably all know by now, I am a sucker for drama. And fewer action stunts might help the movie get more of THOSE scenes. Like in homeland (and in the 24 series itself). It has the explosions and the action, but there was always a human story running in the background. And that is what made that show so great.

I’ll take Howard Gordon at his word, give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was all a little rushed, but considering this is 20th Century Fox we’re talking about – a studio with a long and tawdry history of rushing movies to meet an insane schedule – I’m less than convinced at the excuses being made now. Both the Kief’ and Brian Grazer were more than happy to film the movie this year, which leads me to believe the script was just fine as it currently sits, and it was FOX’s unbelievable tightness that halted it this year, and not anything else, but, of course, I could be wrong…

I had a thought about the REAL potential reason that FOX put the brakes on the ’24’ movie, and y’all can tell me if I’m way off here; I personally think FOX deliberately low-balled the ’24’ movie, knowing full well that Kiefer and Imagine would balk at what was being offered, because they wanted to knock the hundred-million-dollar ’24’ franchise off the road until next year to make clear the road for their more prized billion-dollar ‘Die Hard’ franchise, the fifth installment of which begins filming next month for release next February, and they didn’t want a measly $45m ’24’ movie taking away from the $100m ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ by being released within three months of each other, I predict that once the new ‘Die Hard’ is released next year, Imagine will have no problem getting the $45m-plus they need to bring Jack Bauer to the big screen, or am I being too conspiratorial…?

Totally agree, 24bauerfan. I want a drama film. I don’t want what everyone who doesn’t watch 24 thinks it is from the ‘torture’ commercials.

Gerry Mander, that is spot on. A Good Day To Die Hard comes out valentine’s day of 2013. 24 would be too close to that. It works best if it comes out a year later for 2014 …… erase the 01 and bring 2 and 4 together (you know that’s going to happen in the trailer.) Or it will have that ticking clock turn into 24 and then have the 2 and 4 separate to 2014.

I’m glad its delayed. I don’t understand why anyone would want it rushed. There are a lot of things to do. The 24 film is something to look forward to. Now I have two anticipated films for 2014: The next installment of Terminator and the next installment of Jack Bauer, my two favorite series. I wish it was the continuation of The Sarah Connor Chronicles though.