Written By Summer 2014 : Page 30

The fi ve men warily enter the conference room like cold warriors long on the INTERVIEW BY CRAIG MODDERNO WRITTEN BY RICHARD clock. Watchful. Measured. Ready for another interrogation. PORTRAITS STAYTON BY TOM KELLER Two of these veterans began tracking their target at the turn of PORTRAITS the century— BY TOM KELLER Bob Cochran and Howard Gordon—and they’re still doing so, 14 years later. The remaining three spent a decade keeping American counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer on the hunt: David Fury started in 2005, as did Manny Coto; Evan Katz initially met Bauer in 2002 for the second season. Of the key veterans behind 24, only co-creator Joel Surnow is absent, rumored to be in London editing the opening two episodes of Live Another Day, the ninth season of 24 . Each takes a covert glance at the audio recorders on the conference table. This isn’t espionage, they’re not under surveillance, and W RITTE N B Y is all thumbs when it comes to waterboarding. But after the many seasons together breaking stories about Bauer’s uncompromising patriotism—in the immediate wake of 9/11, torture became a tool, and Bauer its practitioner—this team of writers can keep secrets. Once they drop their guard, they’re fi nishing each other’s sentences, correcting episodic details, speaking in show code, and sharing war stories with impunity. They might not have been in the front lines with Bauer, but they were his guiding lights throughout each campaign, providing the lines, the moves, the strategies, the cover stories. When last seen four years ago, Bauer was saying goodbye to all that, a wanted man disappearing over to the dark side, on the run after cutting ties to everyone and everything. Consensus gener-ally assumed that he was doomed. If we didn’t actually see his body fall at the end of the eighth season, then—similar to Tony Soprano’s vanishing act—the last scene signaled a fatal fi nality. So why bring Jack in out of the cold? Who should know is Howard Gordon, having written 52 24 s as well as the 2008 TV special movie 24: Redemption . In a separate exchange, Gordon recalled that the reboot started at a dinner party where Fox Networks Group CEO and chairman Peter Rice “made a casual remark about bringing the show back as an event series. “It wasn’t a concrete solicitation, really—and in fact, he doesn’t remember bringing it up.” But Gordon was hooked: “The prospect of doing it stuck with me, and I mulled some ideas over, and I mentioned it to Kiefer [Sutherland], who I happened to be having dinner with that week. He was also skeptical, but also intrigued, and agreed to consider it. I called Evan Katz and Manny Coto and Jon Cassar [director/producer 24, Seasons 1–7], who were all ending their respective shows, and ran the idea past them, and they said they would be up for it. But it was all still highly speculative, and none of us thought it would happen.” Casual contacts and phone calls and emails ultimately led to a pitch session where “they bought it in the room.” The motive for such an expensive gamble? “What it came down to,” Gordon discovered, “was that in his four-year absence, we all realized how much we missed Jack Bauer.” The tape and digital recorders are now on. — WRITTEN BY RICHARD STAYTON 30 • WG A W WRITTEN BY SUMMER 20 14

Previous Page  Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here