Previously on "24," American counterterrorist operative Jack Bauer took the world by storm and made curbing civil liberties fun and exciting again. It grew into a rip-roaring eight seasons full of nuclear bombs, weaponized viruses, and even the occasional mountain lion attack.
But all things must end eventually, and the series wrapped up in 2014, leaving us dry of real-time torture and loud whispering, save for the occasional spin-off and pseudo-season.
But now, reports have surfaced that TV Asahi and 20th Century Fox are working together to make a Japanese version of "24."
This new day will be set in Japan but still adhere to the real-time plot development. It will also follow a similar story to the American version’s first season in which an African-American presidential candidate was targeted for assassination. Although it would be really interesting to have a black candidate for the Prime Minister of Japan, they are unfortunately going for the more likely scenario of a female frontrunner this time.
However, no lead has been determined to play the part of Jack’s Japanese counterpart yet. Also undecided is the nature of the threat to Japan in this iteration of "24." The past incident that will trigger the events of the new first season is tentatively planned to be Japanese Jack’s involvement in a hostage rescue and bombing of a chemical weapons factory in an undetermined country.
So how do potential viewers in Japan feel about this import? Let’s hear from the online reaction to the news.
“What’s with all the remakes?”
“Stupidity. I lost interest the moment I heard ‘Japanese version.'”
“There are no guns or torture in Japan, so this will be a boring 24.”
“I can see the lame, cheaply produced CGI explosions already!”
“I can’t imagine how a 24 taking place in Japan won’t look ridiculous. Someone running down the street shooting at terrorists…in Japan?”
“They’re going to get some idol to play Chloe.”
“Jack has to be a balding, grizzled-looking guy, so Ken Watanabe?”
“Female prime minister? I smell a love story…”
Needless to say, people are skeptical. Still, they raise some valid concerns and I think there are three big hurdles Japanese "24" will have to overcome to stand a chance of not being stupid.
The backbone of the 24 franchise was the non-stop cavalcade of famous Hollywood heavies such as Peter Weller, Joaquim de Almeida. and when you least expect it; Bam! Here comes Dennis Hopper out of nowhere.
It elevated the rest of the cast’s game too, to the point that by season eight even computer nerd Chloe had the seen-it-all swagger of a WWII vet. So, does Japan have the same roster of badasses to keep the series going?
For Japanese Jack, many people have cynically assumed it will be an aging boyband member like Takuya Kimura…and they might be right. However, the perfect guy would be Hiroki Narimiya, if they can get him out of hiding.
▼ Here’s Narimiya playing the titular role in the live-action "Ace Attorney."
He’s probably about the right age for it now, and after getting railroaded by the tabloids he’s probably full of that inner-rage needed to really pull off the role of a strung-out, repeatedly screwed-over government agent.
A lack of terrorism
It’s kind of hard to base an entire series on a counterterrorist unit, when there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack in Japan since the Tokyo subway attack in 1995. On the other hand, with the revisions to the Japanese constitution that allows the country to get involved in foreign wars, the prospects for terrorism in the future are brighter than ever…hooray.
Furthermore, there are no cougars here to terrorize Japanese Jack’s daughter in the second season. So they’ll have to replace that with a wild boar or giant salamander or something.
A badass name
There’s also an unescapable charm in the name “Jack Bauer.” It’s got those syllables that make the name itself sound like a guy getting punched in the face. It’s even plausible that "JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure" could have used it as an onomatopoeia at some point.
Can that kind of a name translate over to Japanese? “Duke Togo” would have been perfect, but that’s already taken. Asao Fukuda? Mamoru Goda? Dai Hama? Bunji Dobashi? Tetsu Bessho? I don’t know, but it needs to be good.
So, there is a chance for a Japanese revival of "24" to be good if they put in the proper effort. However, knowing what Japanese TV tends to do, there’s an equally likely chance "24" will devolve into a romantic romp featuring figure-skater Yuzuru Hanyu protecting the future prime minister of Japan, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and a mandatory catchy dance at the end of each episode – in real-time of course.
Source: Oricon News, Itai News
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