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Like it or not, Fox is intent on bringing the high stakes and split screens of 24 back to audiences, as evidenced by the recent pilot order for the reboot 24: Legacy. But without Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer around to take on the work of 25 different government employees, the producers had to find a new star and hero to deny the terrorists their victories, and they’ve made an excellent choice in Straight Outta Compton star Corey Hawkins.
Still a very fresh face in Hollywood, Corey Hawkins proved himself a captivating lead in the role of Dr. Dre, and it has done him quite well since Straight Outta Compton was released. This would be the D.C.-born actor’s first big TV role, and it’s one that would be the biggest TV role for the majority of actors out there, which means 24: Legacy’s creative team has a lot of confidence in Hawkins. (Sure, the project is only at the pilot stage right now, but something would have to go severely wrong for Fox not to pick this up to series.) And given how much he put into his performance as the rap icon, we can probably expect Hawkins to fake his death and move to China as research for the 24 part.
Speaking of…For 24: Legacy, Hawkins will play Eric Carter, an Army Ranger whose time in the service turned him around from a rough and troubled youth. Now out and living in Virginia with his wife Nicole, Eric gets brought back into the fold of domestic havoc when his past catches up to him in a huge way. He must take on the help of CTU to save him and millions of other Americans from becoming victims of his enemies’ large-scale attack.
Eric is obviously younger than Jack Bauer – and also pretty young to get the whole “called back into action” plotline, but I’ll go with it – so he probably won’t be quite up to the super-standards of regular 24 fans. If the franchise’s return should become a hit with fans, I absolutely expect to find Hawkins doing impossible shit by the first episode of Season 2. But he won’t be alone here, as 24: Legacy will pair Eric with a female former head of CTU whose experience is nearly unrivaled. So maybe she’ll be at the forefront of the clever ass-kicking while Eric tries to learn his way into catching up. No characters from the original 24 are expected to show up in this retooled version, but it's supposedly set in the same universe and timeline.
It was announced with the pilot order that the producers were looking for what amounted to a “non-white guy” for Jack Bauer’s successor, and Variety says that Corey Hawkins has been a top choice for the role for a while now, but the deal only recently came together. The theater actor, whose previous TV work was for episodes of Royal Pains and Golden Boy, joined the cast of The Walking Dead in Season 6 as Heath (as seen above), which means he could be on two of TV’s highest rated shows by next fall. He’ll be back on the big screen in the upcoming monster movie Kong: Skull Island, and there’s also the chance that a Compton sequel will go into development any day now.
What do you guys think of this choice?