What we have here is a genuine example of should he or shouldn’t he. Kiefer Sutherland may have started in the movies, but dammit, he’s Jack Bauer now. The actor will soon embark on the eighth season of the popular Fox show “24,” and people want to know if the end is near. He recently answered the question regarding speculation on whether or not he’d return for a 9th season.

The season premiere of “24″ will debut on January 17th, but we’re already looking towards the future. Sutherland’s time on the show is winding down according to his contract, which mean season 8 could be the last time we hear Jack say “Dammit!” Don’t fret my friends, because there’s a reason to keep hope alive. Over at EW, they picked up a few quotes from the actor, while he was out doing a “24″ press tour. He spoke about his future on the show and whether or not he’d be open to keeping his character around a little bit longer.

“I’ve always said that as long as people wanted us to make it , and people were really interested in watching it, I would be interested,” he said. “There are a lot of components involved. Right now my focus is on finishing season 8.”

Sutherland obviously has tunnel vision right now, and is taking everything one day (literally) at a time. “24″ executive producer Howard Gordon seems to think that the actor will be on board once negotiations for season 9 begin next month. “We just want to take it across the line credibly and then let the [other part] take care of itself. As long as Jack’s not dead, anything is possible.”

I have to agree with Gordon on this one. Kiefer loves the character of Jack Bauer more than the people who actually created him. Like most shows, if the quality stays high, it shouldn’t be affected by another season or two. The determining factor is always the story, because if it blows the “24″ legacy could go down in a ball of flames.

Do you think 24 should continue on past season 8? Do you think Sutherland will stay on board?