All of the major Hollywood studios have recently been tightening their belts, and no big budget movie has been safe from this current trend of penny pinching. The latest casualty is 20th Century Fox's 24, based on the hit Fox series of the same name. The movie is now on indefinite hold, and the reason is one that has been heard a lot lately. The budget was simply too high.

24 will eventually go before the cameras at some point, with a script already completed. The movie was supposed to begin shooting at the end of this month, with star Kiefer Sutherland on hiatus from his new Fox series Touch. It was suspected that the studio was gearing up to name a director, with Antoine Fuqua in the front running. Now, the movie will not move forward until at least 2013.

24 had yet to be greenlit as a feature film at the time pre-production was shut down. Kiefer Sutherland is reportedly quite upset about the halting of the project, as he was ready to jump in and reprise his role as Jack Bauer. Certain insiders at the studio are claiming that there simply wasn't enough time to get the film finished before the actor had to be back on set for Touch's second season. No one involved with the project wants to rush it, including Sutherland.

It is unclear at this time if 20th Century Fox plans to have the film ready to go before Kiefer Sutherland's next hiatus comes up. According to Deadline, the story of 24 is to be told as a trilogy of films, though its not certain if the movie will be shot in real time.

B. Alan Orange