The clock has started on 24, the feature version of the Imagine Entertainment/Fox series. The project brings back Kiefer Sutherland’s tireless government operative Jack Bauer. Mark Bomback — a favorite writer at 20th Century Fox writing The Wolverine and Shadow Divers – is doing some last minute tweaking of Billy Ray’s script, and will turn it in by year’s end. Imagine and the studio have about five directors in mind — no, Tony Scott is not attached anymore — and it will all begin happening very quickly in the early part of next year. The goal is to get the film into production to match Sutherland’s availability, which begins in April. That should give producer Brian Grazer something to do after he completes producing the Academy Awards, and it is certainly good news for fans of the show who were beginning to fear the project wouldn’t happen.
Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor knows first-hand how Fox/20th TV’s real-time drama 24 was produced, having co-starred on the series’ final season. Now he will apply his knowledge to an Indian incarnation of the Emmy-winning drama, in which he will play an Indian version of Kiefer Sutherland’s signature character Jack Bauer. Kapoor has closed a rights deal with 20th Century Fox TV Distribution and will produce the new 24 through his Anil Kapoor Films Co. Pre-production is set to begin mid-2012 in India. “It will be a great honor for me to play Jack Bauer,” Kapoor said. “Kiefer has created an iconic character which has inspired me to bring the franchise to India. This will be my first foray to Indian television and I look forward to duplicating the standard of excellence Fox has so successfully created.” Kapoor, one of the best-known Indian feature actors, made his American TV debut on 24 where he played the Middle Eastern leader Omar Hassan, who comes to the U.S. on a peacekeeping mission. He will next be seen in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.