Kiefer Sutherland has said that work on the long-awaited movie version of the hit US TV show 24 is due to begin in a couple of years.

“It is hard enough to write the show,” he said. “So we all agreed that for the writers and their sanity, we wouldn’t approach doing a film without them, so we would wait until the show is finished. And then we would do a film. I think it’s a couple of years off.”

Kiefer will next star in a two-hour special stand-alone prequel edition of 24 called Exile, which will air in the US in November, before the next season is shown in January.

“It was really exciting doing the prequel,” said Kiefer, who filmed in Cape Town and around South Africa.

The 42-year-old star said that working over two hours gave them a rare chance to tie up some loose ends.

He said: “I think [the writers] got a taste of how nice it would be to write a two-hour piece that actually had an ending instead of having to write a 24-hour piece that doesn’t have an ending.

“They might have seen the light. So you never know, maybe a film will be sooner.”