Plans for FOX's 24: Legacy have been ramping up for about a year now, and one thing has been hotly debated: will Kiefer Sutherland reprise his role in the show? Well, Sutherland has an answer for you, but we're still not sure if we believe him.

Kiefer Sutherland spoke to Deadline at the ABC Television Critics Association party (he was there to support his new show, Designated Survivor, on the network) on Thursday and was asked if he would be appearing on the continuation of the series when it returns to FOX next year. His answer seemed pretty definite:

There are absolutely no plans for that.

I know what you're thinking, What's the problem with that answer? Sounds like he knows what he's talking about to me. Normally that would be true, but Kiefer Sutherland has waffled a bit on whether or not his iconic character, Jack Bauer, would show up in 24: Legacy. Around the time that the project was first announced, Sutherland came out and said that his time as Jack Bauer was over; he noted that he wanted to return to TV, but was interested in doing new things for the medium. He also went on record saying that the new series would be just fine without him or Jack Bauer, because "the real star of 24 is the idea."

That all seems very concrete. But then, about three months ago, with 24: Legacy cast and filming, Kiefer Sutherland was asked again about the possibility of showing up in the new series (man, he must get tired of that), and he responded with a decidedly non-committal "you never know what's going to happen," since his character is still alive and not being held captive by any terrorists as far as we know. Add to that the fact that, just within the last month, 24: Legacy executive producer Howard Gordon let it slip that there was a plan in place for Sutherland to reprise his role, if the actor could fit the appearance into his current schedule.

While the show will feature all new characters, including a new central protagonist, Eric Carter (played by Corey Hawkins), it would seem that there will always be a way to sneak in at least a little Jack Bauer to the ongoing adventures of the CTU. And, while it sounds like a smart play to have a contingency plan for the character just in case Sutherland can take some time away from Designated Survivor, the basic gist of all this back and forth would seem to be that nothing has been decided one way or another. It should also be noted, though, that at the same party, Howard Gordon said that there were no plans for him to come back. Whether that means they haven't tried to talk Sutherland into it, or that the show doesn't actually have a plan in place for his return (as Gordon had said before), remains to be seen.

Well, that just clears everything right up, doesn't it? No? It's OK, we can see for ourselves if Kiefer Sutherland shows up on 24: Legacy when the show premieres February 5 on FOX.

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