Jack Bauer running from “24” to just “2”?

This week’s Entertainment Weekly is a regular Zen koan.

It suggests that the indefatiguable Fox show “24” is simultaneously totally independent of its star Kiefer Sutherland, and yet also planning a film franchise around him. bauer-kirk-la.jpg

Creator Joel Surnow thinks the show could be the next multi-series hydra that is “Law and Order,” and Sutherland confesses to EW, “The show will get to a point where you might be going through complete cast changes season to season. I’m going to be really sad when that day comes, because I’ve learned more on this show than on any project I’ve ever done.”

Yet in the very next paragraph, word is that Jack Bauer is headed to the big screen?

“The actor’s learning curve may continue in theaters, however: 24’s producers have begun plotting a film franchise for Bauer. Sutherland is itching to pull the trigger. ‘It can be an amazing series of movies,’ he says. ‘One of the things I’ve experienced making this show is that an audience can handle a lot more than we thought when we started — the tension, the anxiety…. If we could [compress] all the energy we spread over 24 hours of programming and put that into 2, I think we’d knock your socks off.'”

If so, then CTU is really is the next “Star Trek.” But will couch potatoes accept “24: Fast Pace Nine?”