It’s time to recast Jack Bauer. For nine seasons Kiefer Sutherland has portrayed Bauer perfectly. He has infused the character with heart and a determination that allowed him to inhabit this tragic character better than anyone could have foreseen. It’s his career-defining role. One that he will be remembered for, and one that I hope he is truly proud of.
But if the recent conclusion of 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY has proven anything it’s that audiences want more of Jack Bauer. This season was very good in my opinion and just left me wanting more. The only problem is that there’s talk that Mr. Sutherland doesn’t want to continue the character. He’s understandingly tired of only playing Jack and would like to do something else. While I will hate to see him go, he has every right to do what makes him happy.
Some viewers have advocated continuing the series following Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski). While she was a great character and very good in this part I feel that people don’t want more 24, they want more of Jack.
This is why I say recast the part. I know many people are crying blasphemy right now. Following an iconic performance is always tough. But there is a precedent for what I am suggesting. This has happened before with another special agent. The actor associated with the role didn’t want to do it any more so they recast.
In case you are not following what I’m getting at – I am saying that Jack Bauer is the American James Bond – an idea that’s been posited before, but one that resonates now more than ever since LIVE ANOTHER DAY has ended it’s run.
They said it would be impossible for anyone to take Sean Connery’s place as Bond. But Roger Moore did. And so did George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. The same should be true with Jack Bauer.
Sutherland will always be the first, but I look forward to discussing “who was the better Bauer?” I look forward to different interpretations of the character. I think one thing has become apparent. We are not ready to say goodbye to Jack.
Personally I don’t think we should.