24: Headbutt Controversy Almost Cost Kiefer Sutherland A Movie Role

Kiefer Sutherland and Jack McCollough may have patched up after the headbutting incident between the two early this month, but apparently there was more at stake for the 24 star. All that coverage about who did what and why–all those finger-pointing, in other words–allegedly almost cost the actor a role in an upcoming movie.

A source told New York Daily News that the cast and crew of the upcoming Twelve were monitoring the progress of Sutherland’s case very closely. The film’s director, Joel Schumacher, wasn’t happy with all the negative press coverage surrounding the actor. “For the entire week following [the incident], Kiefer’s drama was the white elephant in the room,” the source said. “Joel did not want to talk about it and instructed his cast not to mention anything around him or to the press.”

However, the apology between both parties over the weekend–done days after the 24 star surrendered to authorities and set himself up for a court appearance next month–has cooled everybody down, and decided to keep the actor in his role. “Kiefer’s role in the film isn’t huge anyway,” the source said. “He’s mostly narrating and wouldn’t have been working with very many cast or crew members, which everyone on-set is pretty relieved about. Twelve is in post-production right now, and it wouldn’t make sense to cut Kiefer at this stage of the game.”

The apology came through a joint statement released by both Sutherland and fashion designer McCollough, who was hurt after an altercation in a party in New York City. The agreement sets up the possibility of the assault charges against the actor being dropped.

While there’s no word yet on whether the case will officially be dropped, another source says Sutherland’s relieved after all this–that he’s keeping his job, and that he’s staying out of trouble, for now. “Kiefer is very glad to have settled this so quickly and relatively quietly,” the source said. “He knows the ramifications his actions in New York would have had on his [other legal troubles] … He’s looking forward to just staying out of harm’s way and is content to focus on his work for now. But he hasn’t stopped drinking.”