The very existence of FOX’s upcoming 24: Legacy serves as reminder that Jack Bauer’s time has passed, producers even having entertained the thought of killing off their beleaguered hero in 2014 revival Live Another Day. That said, it seems Kiefer Sutherland himself led the charge in killing off Jack, casting serious doubt the actor would ever agree to reprise the role.

Where previously 24 executive producer Howard Gordon revealed the potential for writers to kill off Jack Bauer in the cliffhanger resolution to 24: Live Another Day, a new report from Variety suggests that Sutherland proactively courted his character’s end, only to be shut down by FOX:

Kiefer [Sutherland] actually wanted Jack Bauer to die, and we had many conversations about it … many of us, including his agent, tried to talk him out of it, but then there was an edict from very high up [within Fox] and Jack Bauer is still alive.

Around this time last year (before Sutherland’s new ABC drama Designated Survivor went to series, and FOX’s Legacy entered official development), Sutherland said of a possible return:

I’m not coming back to do 24 because there are other things I want to do. And when they said limited series run, I meant it. But I’ve always felt, from season one on, that 24 is such a great idea that this can go on forever. I think if you create a new cast or other characters in the telling of this story, it will bring a freshness. And let’s face it, there’s only so many bad days one can have before the show becomes a mad comic. And what I don’t want it to be is a mad comic…it doesn’t rule out to one having a cameo.

In the meantime, so reads the 24: Legacy synopsis:

24: Legacy follows a military hero’s return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him back — compelling him to ask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil. Told in real time with split screens, each episode will represent one hour of an eventful day.

In addition to Corey Hawkins in the lead role, the new Sutherland-produced series stars, Miranda Otto, Anna Diop, Teddy Sears, Jimmy Smits, Dan Bucatinsky, Coral Pena, and Charlie Hofheimer.

The premiere won’t arrive until 2017, but might Sutherland change his mind on Jack Bauer’s return?

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