Kiefer Sutherland to play a kick-ass President on ABC's Designated Survivor
While he may not be playing Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland is not straying far from playing a man involved in an extraordinary political thriller. Deadline reports that Sutherland will star in the currently titled Designated Survivor. FOX is currently working on a similarly themed series with the same title, so it will all depend on which show moves forward first. With Sutherland involved, the ABC series has received a straight to series order which means we will likely see it as early as Fall 2016.
Designated Survivor refers to an actual title in the structure of the United States government. Here's the plot synopsis.
In Designated Survivor, a lower level United States Cabinet member (Sutherland) is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. This is a family drama wrapped around a conspiracy thriller about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation.
This series shares a very similar plot to Tom Clancy's novel Executive Decision which saw Jack Ryan become leader of the United States. Having someone along the lines of Jack Bauer thrust into one of the highest ranking positions in the world could make for a very interesting show. I just hope that this turns out more like 24 and less like Sutherland's last series, Touch. It does bode well that Designated Survivor comes from producer Simon Kinberg (X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, THE MARTIAN) and is written by David Guggenheim (SAFE HOUSE).
Sutherland's career has not been as prolific on the big screen in recent years but the revival of 24 in last year's event series showed that the 48-year-old star can still hold his own in a physically demanding role. Sutherland may not be shooting bad guys or jumping from helicopters when playing the President, but I have a good feeling he will be able to deliver as a POTUS that could rival David Palmer or Frank Underwood.