The cast and crew of 24: Legacy made an appearance at this year’s NYCC to discuss the show. I’m a huge fan of 24 and I’ve seen every episode, so I was very excited to be there. The panel included cast members Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings, Homeland), and Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy, The West Wing). It also included producers Evan Katz, Howard Gordon, and Manny Coto. The audience was treated to an extended preview of the first episode’s first 30 minutes, and wow, they went nuts. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but the preview we saw perfectly captured the energy and feeling of the original show. Protagonist Eric Carter is a different person than Jack Bauer, but he fits into the world very well. The episode’s first action sequence involved a home invasion where a couple use household firearms to fight off Middle Eastern terrorists. If 24 can be characterized as a series of Republican validation fantasies, this was very on-brand. The audience seriously went wild over it. There were cries of “SHOOT ‘EM AGAIN” and a very excited man next to me shouted “GO HOME” as the Middle Eastern terrorists were gunned down. Yep, 24 fans are a rowdy bunch.
The producers talked a little bit about what their plans were for the upcoming season, and how they were going to try to stay relevant in 2016. Manny Coto said, given what’s going on in the world today with terrorism and ISIS, they felt like the show was still very relevant. “It’s a subject that, unfortunately, never goes away.” They also teased several ways the new series would stay connected to the old one, although obviously it’s a new cast and Kiefer Sutherland has confirmed he won’t return. The biggest announcement was that Tony Almeida will be returning to the series, apparently as a villain. They’re introducing a new CTU analyst played by Coral Peña who will be the cousin of fan-favorite Edgar Stiles. From the preview and our interview with the producers, it looks like Peña’s character will be used to talk about Islamophobia as a problem within the CTU. The producers expressed a desire to bring back Chloe O’Brian, although there are currently no plans.
Corey Hawkins talked about how excited he was to be a part of the show, since apparently he’s been a 24 fan for a long time. He described his character Evan Carter as “a hero that looks like America today.” The producers said Hawkins was absolutely their first choice for the role. “We asked him to do it and he said yes.” They went on to say he was the “only person we talked to, only person we sent a script to.” Jimmy Smits, playing a Senator running for President, was asked if he was channeling any current political figures. Smits quipped “I tried to go with the hair dye and they wouldn’t go for it.” Manny Coto also jokingly told the audience to “write in Jimmy Smits” on the ballot. Katz stepped in to say that the show attempts to be politically neutral and they always avoid referencing real-world political figures. “There’s never a political party named.” He explained that their characters are intended to be more timeless, representing the iconic American politician without focusing on one individual. He also clarified that this upcoming season was written well in-advance of the current election, so it can’t be considered a deliberate commentary on current events.