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Straight Outta Compton's Corey Hawkins lands lead role in 24: Legacy

Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins has some big shoes to fill in his new leading role on 24: Legacy. He’ll play Eric Carter on the Fox spinoff of the celebrated action thriller, which features a brand new cast of characters, as reported by Deadline.

Legacy will delve into the life of Carter, a former Army Ranger, who runs into some serious trouble linked to his military past after returning to the U.S. Kiefer Sutherland, who played Jack Bauer in the show’s initial run, will not be involved in the project.

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On the show, Carter will deal with threats on his life and the entire country after returning to Virginia and his wife Nicole. As in the original series, he’ll work with the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) to stymie his opponents from attacking the country. The show will also continue 24’s signature chronological countdown of each episode in real time.

Unlike the original series, though, 24: Legacy will put more focus on a strong female lead, according to Deadline. The character, whose casting has not yet been announced, will reportedly have a long past working at CTU, as well as experience with the former head of the agency. While former CTU members from the original 24 series will likely be mentioned, there aren’t plans for original cast members to have significant roles in the reboot.

Even before Hawkins was chosen the network wrote the character as an African American, according to the report, in part so that the new show could shed the image of Bauer, the iconic focus of the original. “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,” explained Fox Television exec Gary Newman at the Television Critics Association’s press tour this month (via Entertainment Weekly).

Hawkins is a hot talent in Hollywood right now, having just come off his role as Dr. Dre in the surprise phenomenon that was Straight Outta Compton, as well as a short stint on the AMC juggernaut The Walking Dead.

Screenwriters Manny Coto and Evan Katz will return for the reboot. Stephen Hopkins, who directed the original 24 pilot, also returns to helm the pilot of 24: Legacy. Coto and Katz will executive produce the show through 20th Century Fox TV with Teakwood Lane’s Howard Gordon and Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer.