“Straight Outta Compton” star Corey Hawkins will assume the lead role on “24” when it returns, replacing Kiefer Sutherland, who had earlier bowed out of the newest reboot, according to trade reports.
The Juilliard-trained Hawkins, 27, is at the forefront of a cast overhaul for the Fox classic that ended in 2010 — later taken out of mothballs in 2014 for “24: Live Another Day” and returning later this year as “24: Legacy.” Fox executives had indicated at the recent TV Critics Tour in Pasadena that the new Jack Bauer — or, specifically, one Eric Carter — would be a “military hero” who would seek help from “24’s” famed CTU in “stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.”
But that wasn’t the big news, which instead was this: An African-American would be cast in the role.
As Dr. Dre in “Compton,” Hawkins was the mostly cerebral member of NWA. He was also a standout — briefly anyway — in last season’s “The Walking Dead” as Heath, also a bit cerebral, cynical and (so far) still very much alive. It’s unclear whether he’ll be back in the role for the show’s seventh season.
Fox described his “24” character as “strong and smart, Eric came from a very rough background and turned his life around in the Army Rangers. Now back home in Virginia with his wife, Nicole, he’s pulled back into action as his past comes looking for him.”
The network ordered a pilot, which doesn’t mean a series order is necessarily a sure bet — even though the original showrunners, including Howard Gordon, are attached. Nevertheless, a return is a good bet, and this latest reboot, also a short-run series, would either arrive later this fall or early next year.