The reboot of 24 has its new leading man: Straight Outta Compton's Corey Hawkins will star in 24: Legacy, as reported by Variety. The 27-year-old actor will play Eric Carter, a totally new character, and according to Variety, he had been the favorite for the role. FOX executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman told the Television Critics' Association that they wanted the acclaimed series' reboot to star a diverse lead, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, and Hawkins' casting solidifies that commitment.
"As envisioned, the lead character would be diverse, so that will be our first effort in casting," Newman said earlier this month. "As always, we’re going to cast the best actor we can find for the role. As you can imagine, bringing 24 back, we want to really try to create some distinction and make this feel different than Jack Bauer’s 24, so having a diverse actor in that lead role I think would be helpful in doing that."
Carter will work with the Counter Terrorist Unit to prevent an attack in the U.S., and Entertainment Weekly described the new character as "strong and smart, [who] came from a very rough background and turned his life around in the Army Rangers." The website also reports that there are currently no plans to have any of the original 24 cast return — yes, that includes Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer — so the reboot will really hinge on Carter.
But there's no one better than Hawkins to take on that responsibility, as shown by just how much he's been on the rise in the past year. Besides his acclaimed portrayal of Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, the Juilliard-trained actor is currently playing Heath on The Walking Dead and will star in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island.
24: Legacy was barely just announced as a concept, but it couldn't have a more appropriate name. The original series starring Sutherland that ran from 2001 to 2014 earned an insane 68 Emmy nominations and won 20 over its nine seasons. This reboot starring Hawkins, and hopefully an equally diverse supporting cast, could shake up awards seasons to come. And luckily, though the cast and plot will be all new, the original series' executive producers, Howard Gordon, Manny Coto, and Evan Katz are all returning.
And what does Sutherland think of the series' new star? There's no word on Hawkins' casting from the man formerly known as Jack Bauer, but Sutherland did say in June at the screening of 24: Live Another Day that he was all in favor of a new cast when explaining why he would not be returning, as reported by Deadline: "I've always felt, from season one on, that 24 is such a great idea that this can go on forever. I think if you create a new cast or other characters in the telling of this story, it will bring a freshness," he said, though he also added that he would never rule out the possibility of a cameo.
But whether or not Sutherland steps back into his iconic role, with Hawkins at the helm, 24: Legacy will surely live up to its predecessor.