SAN DIEGO--24's Jack Bauer may not cast spells, have superpowers, or be hand drawn, but he was represented at Comic-Con 2007 nonetheless. Above the busy show floor, the 24 panel was held with director Jon Cassar and executive producers Evan Katz, Manny Coto, and David Fury.
This panel took place between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
1:25:34--Fans are lead into room 6A.
1:31:24--The panel begins. It only takes a few seconds for producers to jokingly point blame on each other for season six. "I wanted to say we decided to blame season six on David Fury," said Coto.
1:32:56--After a few jokes, the execs officially start the panel with big news. The CTU will not be in season seven. The organization is actually disbanded by the government, leaving Jack Bauer to fend for himself. However, the execs admit that it's only officially disbanded, meaning that it could exist in some sort of underground state.
The other big news dropped on the still-gasping audience is that season seven will take place in...Washington D.C.
They explain that the season will start off with Jack Bauer being hauled before the Senate Committee to answer questions about "what are perceived to be" crimes that he committed. From there, the plot will thicken and Jack will be pulled into--wait for it--something that turns into something huge.
1:37:13--Mary Lynn Rajskub will return as her character Chloe O'Brien. However, it is not explained how or when she will reappear. "And we're very close to re-signing Kiefer Sutherland," quipped Fury.
1:39:07--The subject turns to fan favorite Tony Almeida. Is he dead? The go-to comment of "Keep watching!" from the execs is the immediate reply, followed by the funnier, "Tony is alive in our hearts."
1:42:54--Finally the quartet--who could double as a comedy troupe the way they're fielding questions--gets a bit serious and drops a small hint that Almeida is actually still alive...by not confirming he is dead.
"To say anything definitive either way would ruin the process," said Coto.
1:46:24--But Katz took it even one step further. "I think it's fair to say if we haven't definitely portrayed a character as dead, it's a good bet they're probably not dead."
1:50:26--The writers have not yet decided on how far season seven takes place after season six.
1:55:16--Finally, a fan questions one of the show's weaknesses--the suspension of belief needed to make the show work in real time.
"I live in [Los Angeles'] San Fernando Valley. How is it possible that Jack Bauer can get from downtown Los Angeles to Van Nuys in 10 minutes!?!?"
"You have to know the right side streets," said Fury, who emerged as the star of the panel with his Kevin Nealon-like presence.
1:59:23--Audience members voice their displeasure with the character of Kim Bauer and plead with the execs not to bring her back. They pull no punches, bluntly saying, "Kim Bauer is retarded."
2:03:33--The character Aaron Pierce may be returning to the show at some point. "There is a definite possibility of yes; we're big fans," said Coto.
2:08:27--There's no way the writers decide who lives and dies. They're real people with jobs and children. They originally didn’t tell cast members when they would die. Peter Weller was supposed to die after five episodes, but he talked his way out of it. At one point Aaron Pierce was going to die, and at five points, Tony was supposed to die.
"Louis Lombardi still doesn’t know he's dead," said Coto.
"He keeps coming by every week; it's really embarrassing," joked Cassar.
2:14:05--Hopefully the 24 movie will still happen, says the panel. They explain that it would be hard to do both at the same time, so a movie--if it ever happens--would have to wait until after the show is done on TV.
2:17:00--Donald Sutherland--Kiefer's biological father--was considered for Jack's dad, but things did not work out.
2:20:09--Jack Bauer's magic bag is discussed. They joke that only Jack Bauer could look walk around with a purse and still look cool. The bag is the size it is because the crew doesn’t know what the writers will say is in the bag until later. Kiefer actually picked the design of the bag.
2:22:17--An alternate ending was considered for the finale of season six that saw an old character coming back. In it, Bauer is walking along a cliff when he hears a voice. "Jack," says the voice. A figure walks out of the shadows and its Tony Almeida. "Jack, come with me, we have a lot to talk about." This is further evidence that Tony may still be alive.
2:23:45--"We're not doing anything on the DVD for between seasons," says Cassar to a disappointed crowd.
2:24:12--One fan compliments Fury's ability to write strong female characters, to which the boy's club immediately rails on him.
2:27:46--The panel recalls when Kiefer found out that there is a college-drinking game focusing on every time Jack says, "Dammit!" Sutherland allegedly improvised "Dammit" five times in a row in one scene and said, "Boy that’s going to be a great night when they do that one," referring to the soon to be drunken frat boys playing the 24 drinking game.
2:30:12--The panel ends to applause.