With mere months to go before the highly anticipated 24: Legacy hits TV screens, the cast and crew gathered at New York Comic Con to reveal what they could about the reboot of the classic franchise. Starring The Walking Dead's Corey Hawkins as the new man having the worst day ever, as well as Miranda Otto and Jimmy Smits, the biggest reveal of the panel was that Carlos Bernard's Tony Almeida will be back for the new series, though in what capacity is to be seen.
That out of the way, here's 24 secrets we learned from the 24: Legacy panel.
1. Yep, it's 24. The panel kicked off with a screening of "extended" footage from the premiere, basically the first half of the episode. The split screen, the real time, a man being tortured, tied to a chair — even cell phones as a plot device. This might be the next generation, but it's still good ol' 24, from the first minute on.
2. It's personal. Hawkins' Eric Carter has a very, very personal connection to the threat presented in the premiere. It's a big threat, it's a terrorist threat, but ultimately it's a threat coming for him in a one-on-one basis that will soon spill out to affect the entire country.
3. He's not Jack Bauer. Don't get me wrong, Carter has skills. But he's a different sort of operative than Kiefer Sutherland's CTU agent: much rawer and much more emotional.
4. Anna Diop kind of is? Carter's wife Nicole, played by Anna Diop, kicks a surprising amount of ass. She's no wilting flower drawn into Eric's complicated world; she can hold her own.
5. In fact, everyone is kind of damaged. Otto plays Rebecca Donovan, the head of the CTU and a prospective first lady. Even when she's overseeing saving the world, she still has a complicated inner emotional life.
6. ... Except Jimmy Smits. Smits is John Donovan, a man running for president (which, given the world of 24, somehow seems like a worse job prospect than in the real world). I'm sure there's more going on with him, but from the footage we watched, he seems to just be a happy guy!
7. 24: Legacy plays around with what's going on in the world. You know how ISIS is always recruiting young people to fight/run tasks for them? Yeah, there's a variation on that here, basically playing on Americans' worst fears about homeland terror.
8. The "Legacy" part isn't about Jack Bauer. Sure, that's what the implication is, but the title is more a play on how our actions have repercussions. I'm skirting spoilers here, but the plot kicks off when a CTU opp leads to some very, very bad things happening on American soil.
9. There's a mole. It's 24. Of course there's a mole.
10. The executive producers noted that the reason for doing the reboot was because "we love 24." They had been batting around the idea for a while of focusing on an Army Ranger, and with ISIS and terrorism still on a high, the time was right.
11. Hawkins was a huge fan of 24. "[24: Legacy] felt like the original 24, but it was new generation and a new hero that looks like America today," he said.
12. Hawkins was the only choice to play Carter. And the EPs noted that he was game for everything in the script.
13. Smits has seen Straight Outta Compton. Hawkins appeared in the NWA biopic, and was extremely excited to shout "Dr. Dre!" during the panel.
14. Which presidential candidate inspired Smits' character the most? "I tried the hair dye," quipped Smits, but ultimately said that the iconic nature of the franchise excited him.
15. The show is apolitical. No parties are mentioned, and it's more about Otto and Smits' characters' relationship, as she tries to decide whether she should leave her job at CTU to become first lady. Not only that, but they've never done a candidate before.
16. Eric Carter is very, very damaged. Did we mention these characters are damaged? "He seems to be in a good place, and figuring out civilian life," Hawkins noted. "But he's flawed. There's a lot of dark moments he has to wrestle with throughout the season."
17. Carter isn't Jack Bauer. "How does he deal with this?" Hawkins mused. "Because Bauer was a veteran CTU agent ... and Eric is not. It's about him trying to adjust with that." He noted that along the way, Carter will attempt to integrate himself into the CTU, but may not like it.
18. Tony Almeida is back! The 24 bad boy broke out of prison in a DVD extra and will return to plague (and maybe help?) CTU on 24: Legacy.
19. That's not the end of the Easter eggs. There will be "allusions" made to other aspects of the original series, as 24 and 24: Legacy both take place in the same universe.
20. Hawkins is pretty happy about the post-Super Bowl premiere. "It's not too shabby," Hawkins said, doing a little Hillary Clinton shoulder shimmy.
21. Smits isn't confused playing a different character than on The West Wing. "It's a totally different tonal change," Smits noted, on going from one political show to another, when asked by a fan. Clearly, they didn't see his amazing turn on The Get Down to know that Smits has the range.
22. It's not 24 hours long. "Twelve episodes is just about half as fun," joked the EPs on the half-season. "There's a compression, and a desire to make every episode really honed."
23. What's it like to join an established universe? "I actually find it really comforting where a show is so established," said Otto. "Coming into a show that is already established, and has such a recognizable format ... people know what they're doing." Hawkins added that "we feel like we're in very capable hands."
24. I didn't really have 24 secrets. Huge twist, but that's all the news we got out of the panel. Tie me to a chair and torture me, but I won't give you any more information!
24: Legacy will premiere on Feb. 5, right after the Super Bowl on Fox.