Kiefer Sutherland wanted to kill off Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day, and here’s how the original final scene of the show could have played out.
Kiefer Sutherland wanted Jack Bauer to die in 24: Live Another Day, and here’s how it might have played out. 24 called it a day after eight seasons in 2010, with the real-time thriller following CTU agent Jack as he raced (often literally) against the clock to prevent terror attacks. At its best, the show could be a heart-racing thriller, though sometimes seasons were padded out with nonsensical storylines and filler, such as Kim Bauer’s (Elisha Cuthbert) now-infamous encounter with a cougar during season 2.
When 24 ended, there was talk of a movie version being made, with directors like Tony Scott rumored to take the helm. There was even talk of a crossover film called Die Hard 24/7, where Bauer would have teamed with Bruce Willis’ John McClane. When it became clear a movie wasn’t happening, Sutherland returned for event miniseries 24: Live Another Day in 2014, which found Jack in London trying to prevent another impending attack.
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Despite good reviews and ratings, Kiefer Sutherland made it clear he had no plans to return as Jack beyond 24: Live Another Day. The series picked up years on from the finale of season 8, which saw Jack fleeing after incurring the wrath of both the American and Russian governments after exposing corruption in both. While he makes peace with the American side of things during Live Another Day, he ends the miniseries handing himself over to Russian operatives in exchange for Chloe’s (Mary Lynn Rajskub) freedom. He’s taken away in a helicopter, but Sutherland was advocating for Jack to die in the finale.
Speaking to a Comic-Con panel after 24: Live Another Day had wrapped up in 2014, Sutherland revealed one way in which Jack might have gone out. “We thought, maybe for the DVD, Jack will pull out a hand grenade, and just blow [the helicopter] up.” Apparently many different endings were discussed, though Sutherland was apparently pushing so hard for Jack’s demise that when his agent and the showrunners couldn’t talk him down, the higher-ups at Fox made it clear Jack Bauer couldn’t die.
While the grenade ending being for “DVD” does soften his intention, it appears this is the way Kiefer Sutherland wanted Jack to go down. It makes sense Bauer wouldn’t go down without a fight if he was going to die, but the ending wasn’t ultimately shot. Sutherland stayed true to his word to stop after 24: Live Another Day, with Fox later attempting a reboot with 24: Legacy. This saw Corey Hawkins take over as a new agent called Eric Carter, but it was cancelled after one season. In recent years Kiefer Sutherland sounds more open to a return, so maybe Jack Bauer will live another day yet.
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