Kiefer Sutherland on Broadway and that '24' movie
May 5th, 2011
03:35 PM ET

Kiefer Sutherland on Broadway and that '24' movie

Actor Kiefer Sutherland’s got a full plate between his Broadway play, "That Championship Season," his new web series, "The Confession," and of course, the "24” movie.

"There's been talk about it forever," Sutherland told CNN of the feature film version of the smash Fox series. “But it is slated right now for the summer of 2012."

"I'm one of the producers (of Fox's "24" film) and I've been working with Ron Howard,” he revealed. “We've had a couple of scripts that I think were wonderful but they weren't perfect, and I think we worked so hard on the series for that long that we want to make, if not a series of films, at least the one film really matter. We've just been working so hard to reach that."

But when he’s not working on the “24” movie, Sutherland can be found on Broadway – the actor is currently starring in a revival of the Tony and Pulitzer-winning "That Championship Season" alongside Jason Patric, Chris Noth, Brian Cox and Jim Gaffigan.

"There isn't a night that we've done it where I was just relaxed and blasé," Sutherland told CNN. "Every night your stomach starts to go and it matters. For me, it's been one of the great experiences of my career." The production will wrap on May 29.

Sutherland’s also tackling a new web series, "The Confession," which he stars in on top of serving as one of the executive producers. The 10-episode series has a total running time of about an hour, and can be found on Hulu.com. Each installment is between five and 10 minutes in length.

The protagonist in "The Confession" is a man who visits a Catholic priest (played by John Hurt) in a confessional booth for the first time in 35 years. The confessor, played by Sutherland, tells the priest that he has done horrible things, yet feels no guilt. He's not seeking forgiveness; rather, he wishes to understand evil.

We soon learn that the confessor, a hit man, has to kill another man that night.

A good chunk of the narrative unfolds in flashbacks of his character's past. We learn that "the chance at a normal life was ripped away" from him. He remains vehement, however, that the people he killed deserved what they got and that "sometimes murder is justice."

Sutherland told CNN, "I was making this film with (director) Larry von Trier called ‘Melancholia’ (which also stars Kirsten Dunst, set for release later this year); and at the same time, I was working with Brad Mirman on ‘The Confession.’ John Hurt, who is also in ‘Melancholia,’ asked me what I was doing, and I explained to him the potential that I thought the Internet had not only for actors and storytellers but the ability to reach a volume in audience that has really never even come close to being matched."

Sutherland teamed up with screenwriter Mirman and “Confession” co-executive producer Chris Young, CEO of DBG (Digital Broadcasting Group), who was introduced to Sutherland by a mutual friend.

The three men were intrigued by the notion of the webisode format but didn't yet have a solid plot until, Mirman told CNN, "[Kiefer] called me and said, 'What do you think about a hit man in a confessional?' And immediately I could see the dramatic possibilities in that."

Not that the webisode format didn't present a challenge. “You're dealing with such short episodes so you have to find really strong ins and outs in all 10 episodes," Mirman said. "With an hour show you only have to worry about the cliffhanger at the end, but with this you have to worry about the cliffhanger at the end of every five or seven-minute segment."

Sutherland pointed out that another aspect of the shorter episode lengths "is that you really have to hone in on a writing skill. Brad Mirman has done such a phenomenal job doing that because you have to be so precise. Each little moment has to have a very strong intent and has to have a very strong conflict and has to have a resolve."

Everyone involved with the show is thrilled with the positive reception it is getting, including glowing reviews from critics as well as Hulu viewers.

"People were happy to consume content on the internet and other devices rather than traditional TV," said Young, adding, "Now that the digital living room is upon us, the reaction has been they want it to be longer. We planned it to be small, bite-sized pieces."

Mirman agreed, noting that's a good thing: "If they want it to be longer, it means they’re responding to the show."

There was no scrimping in terms of production value, as Mirman told us that every actor that walked on that set "could have been walking onto the set of any network television show or any movie set for that matter. You wouldn't have seen a difference. Production values are every bit as high as anything Kiefer and I have ever worked on."

"Wouldn't it be funny if," he concluded, "after everything we've done, this is the thing we're most proud of? Certainly for me, I've never had a response to something like this. When episode eight came out, my Twitter page just lit up like a Christmas tree."

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Filed under: 24 • Kiefer Sutherland • television • Webisodes

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Morgan hijuwa

    When is 24 coming out.i miss jack bauer

    September 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Donald Trump should pay to have 24 Season 9 made. He could have Jack say "Your fired!" as he shoots the main bad guy :) Oh – sorry, forgot – that was another network....
    But seriously, I'd love a movie that ties up some loose ends. Not looking for a fairy-tale ending, because in Jack's world, there are none – but some answers to the questions left unanswered at the end of Season 8 would be good. That way, we can finally retire Jack.
    P.S Watching Season 1 again – PML at Dennis Hopper's accent as "Wictor Drazen". :D

    July 11, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. aj Natural

    Please, Put Some Heart Into What You're Doing... It Is Well Even In The Well.

    June 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bright

    no amount of words can suit the extreme at which I love you kiefer... you are the best, the best is 24, it's unique, incomparable, outstanding..... Untalkable

    June 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. special k

    Just discovered the show and WOW, the best show ever!!! Thank god i never started in the middle of the series and i don't know how you people waited for a week to see what happens next!!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mecene

    if i was a millionaire i would pay you to have a season 9 plus the movie, there's no other Tv show that can compete with 24. 24 is the best Tv show in the world, Kiefer Sutherland/Jack Bauer you should work your ass for another season, but the first 5 episode should be in Theater, trust me a lot of money would make. The Confession i love it but you need to turn it to a full series tv show. Miami Love that show 24... ((make more progress Kiefer Sutherland you know what it takes to be acting) keep doing much love

    May 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nicanor

    Envy ? I can not understand those who hates Kiefer sutherland and i don`t know how the name Jack Bauer can not be erased in the mind of those people, if these people really don`t followed 24 series.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. robebe

    "Plot idea – Jack Bauer leads a team to the Arabian Sea to recover Bin Ladens body after the Trump-Palin ticket makes the 'deather' issue a campaign platform. Bauer can't find the body and later discovers not only was Bin Laden not killed but several years ago had major reconstructive surgery and is actually Todd Palin."

    jajajajajajja amazzing pilot!!! i want to see them!!!

    May 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Diana Galarza

    I miss 24 and Jack Bauer. Thank goodness I have all the eight DVD series. Can't wait for the move.

    May 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karl Hungus

    Why is it that whenever these actors are filming or posing for publicity photos holding guns, they always, always, always have their finger wrapped around the trigger. That violates one of the cardinal rules of safe gun handling, and is something no professional would ever do. It's always irked me to see that.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    The Confession will end with a surprise...The hitman is there to kill the priest who is a child molester. Just my guess. I haven't seen it.....

    May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Elila

    jack needs to make more of the series we cant get more of the series they can quite addict one

    May 6, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sean

    Nader,
    No one feels sorry for the Palin family, as all the publicity they deal with, positive or negative, us brought on by their ignorant, loudmouth mother. If she didn't keep talking out of her butt with no real facts to back up her statements and assertions, then they wouldn't be made fun of. Its her media whoring that's brought it upon her family. I mean, she's got two special needs children – Bristol and whatever the younger ones name us – if she really cared about them shed be home taking care of them – instead she has her nanny do it while she's out fearmongering. They knew what they were getting into.

    May 6, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Defender Of The Faith

      Hey Sean, I think you mean me not Nader,

      Firstly, I don't think you can say NO-ONE feels sorry for the Palin family, millions of Americans- and non-Americans- support and admire her, judging by the MILLIONS of copies her two books have sold (compared to Al Gore's tens of thousands). Secondly, you say she's "talking out of her butt... and fearmongering"- how eloquent- but give absolutely no specifics to back up your rather specious argument. Thirdly, you say she's "mediawhoring"- how? She gives speches at conservative events, political campaigns, and is a paid news contributor for FNC, like a lot of other people, both Republican and Democrat, so you're wrong there, again. And lastly, she has ONE special needs child, Trig, not two, so you're wrong AGAIN. Get your facts straight before you try to tangle with the grown-ups, loser...

      May 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J0nx

    Sounds like the confessor got its idea from Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime to me...

    May 6, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nader

    I think kiefer suterland the best actor for all the time

    May 6, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  16. Alabi Akeem

    Can't just wait 2 watch that '24' movie continue cos its my medicine whenever am sick for either malaria or thyghoid.So,jack bour (kiefer) should give me my medicine now! Great work u've done.

    May 6, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  17. dawit

    Kiefe sutherland is the best actor that I ever seen and keep up the up the good work.
    Dawit.

    May 6, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  18. Robin

    I wish they 'also' work on an OBL movie. apart from their original 24 movie tho.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Lex

    Jack killed Osama

    May 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Bill

    Plot idea – Jack Bauer leads a team to the Arabian Sea to recover Bin Ladens body after the Trump-Palin ticket makes the 'deather' issue a campaign platform. Bauer can't find the body and later discovers not only was Bin Laden not killed but several years ago had major reconstructive surgery and is actually Todd Palin.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Defender Of The Faith

      Bill, get a hold of yourself man, what is wrong with you leftist haters!? How'd you like it if your family had their name and reputation trashed at every turn, and the most vile and untrue garbage said about them!? Todd Palin is more of a man than you'll ever be and is a gentleman who's never publicly hit back as his wife and family have been demonised by infantile fools like yourself! Have a thought about how it makes the Palin children feel to see they're parents trashed every time they turn on the t.v. or internet- or maybe the only way people like you get their kicks is by attacking others you may disagree with... GROW UP!!!

      May 6, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  21. Jack Bauer For President Executive Committee

    It's great to hear Kiefer stating that they want to do the '24' movie RIGHT, not just flinging out the first idea that comes to mind- unlike the first 'X-Files' movie (which ended up being HALF a great movie)- although that summer 2012 release date is more than a little tight, and should be moved to spring 2013 if they don't start shooting until next January or thereabouts...

    May 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  22. steve

    i can write the movie right now; terrorist blows something up, jack dragged out of retirement to fix it because no one else can, jack get tortured by bad guys then kills them all, president is either a woos or a corrupt lair, mole inside CTU, blah, blah, blah. yep, i love 24

    May 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Ron

    Kiefer Sutherland can do no wrong and is awesome. I'm watching anything that he's in!!!

    May 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  24. frank

    that's going to be one long ass movie!

    May 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fan of 24

      Actually they're going to call it "2.4" so that it runs in real time.

      May 6, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  25. crow

    Please get off ur ass and let's have the movie already !

    May 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Bill

    The idea of webepisodes is brilliant!! i've watched every episode of the Confession on my iPad and its been awesome. GREAT show!! They should turn it into a full series with hour long episodes. I can't wait for the 24 Movie! The Redeption was awesome, can't wait to see what the crew comes up with!!!!

    May 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Ian

    As a writer I can tell you that what "We've had a couple of scripts that I think were wonderful but they weren't perfect" means is "We haven't done anything."

    May 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Wbevans

    Chloe was annoying.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  29. ksoze

    They can't possibly do a '24' movie without Chloe!

    May 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Melody Clark

    And Mary Lynn Rajskub still hasn't heard from anyone about the 24 movie. Without Chloe, the movie will suck.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Evel Knievel

    Someone buy Sutherland a drink.

    May 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Saxxon

    Moron

    May 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jack Bauer For President Executive Committee

    Get a life you idiot, and stop posting stupid crass nonsense, you should work for MSNBC, they'd love you there, loser...

    May 6, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |

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