If Kiefer Sutherland is angry at Fox for postponing a planned start date for the filming of a long-awaited “24″ feature film, then he kept his feelings under wraps Thursday night when Jay Leno asked him about the status of the movie.
Sutherland, 45, came on “The Tonight Show” primarily to promote next week’s premiere of his new Fox series “Touch,” in which he plays the father of a gifted boy with a unique type of autism that allows him to visualize connections between diverse people around the globe.
The “Touch” pilot had a sneak preview on Fox in January and another one just this week, on Thursday night (in fact, we have the episode — you can watch it at the end of this post). It starts its regular-series run next Thursday (March 22) at 9 p.m. (8c), following “American Idol.”
But Sutherland’s calm, cool reaction to Leno’s query about the “24″ movie stood in stark contrast to reports earlier this week that he hit the ceiling when Fox informed him and his “24″ production team that the movie won’t get produced unless the producers make substantial cuts in the movie’s budget. We reported that story here:
On “The Tonight Show,” the actor/producer didn’t mention that Fox pulled the plug just this week. Instead, he made it seem as if the issues over filming were related to various people’s schedules, including his own.
“We finally got a script to a really amazing place,” he said, indicating that the film was all ready to go. “And unfortunately, because of my schedule, we’re trying to fit a lot of moving parts — everybody else’s schedule — and trying to find the right slot to do the film in, and we’re still trying and if we don’t get it into this slot, we’ll do it next year.
“It’s one of those things,” he said. “’24′ was so good to me, I mean it was an amazing experience, and I think we have a responsibility to protect it and our job is to make sure that we make the best possible movie ever and if we have to wait a little longer, then we will. We’re still trying and hopefully we’ll get it done.”
He also talked about “Touch” and how it will premiere simultaneously throughout the world, a television first for a series premiere.
Sutherland had other subjects on his mind besides “24″ and “Touch.” In their first segment together, he filled Jay in on what it was like to act in a Broadway play last year. The play, “That Championship Season,” ran for about six months. It was Sutherland’s first time on Broadway, and he was awed by the experience.
Believe it or not, Kiefer actually has two grandsons. In this segment with Leno, Kiefer sheepishly told two jokes for kids. It was charming.
The rest of Thursday’s “Tonight Show” included Jay’s monologue, of course, followed by the hilarious recurring bit known as “Ask Jay Anything,” and guests Kathryn Hahn and singer Andy Grammer.