On Friday, June 2, Showtime announced that it’s going ahead with a new limited series called “Escape at Dannemora.” The eight-hour, ripped-from-the-headlines series tells the true story of the 2015 prison break in upstate New York by two convicted murderers who were aided by a female prison employee with whom they were both involved. The production has a high-profile cast and crew: Ben Stiller will executive produce and direct all episodes, while the cast includes Oscar winners Benicio Del Toro and Patricia Arquette and SAG winner Paul Dano.
Stiller is best known for his work as an actor, but he has also made a name for himself behind the camera, directing films including “Zoolander” (2001), “Tropic Thunder” (2008) and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013). And he’s already an Emmy winner from back in 1993 when he claimed Best Variety Writing for “The Ben Stiller Show” along with co-writers including Judd Apatow, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross before they were household names.
Arquette is an Emmy winner as well. She won Best Drama Actress in 2005 as a psychic investigator in “Medium” before going on to win her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Boyhood” 10 years later. Del Toro and Dano have worked predominantly in film, so neither has been nominated for an Emmy yet, but there’s a first time for everything.
“We are all very intent on trying to tell this singular story in a way that shows the reality and humanity of the people involved,” said Stiller in a statement. “While the genre is a prison escape story, at its core it is a story about real people, some criminals and some not, who make some bad choices that have huge consequences. I think that’s what’s so compelling about this.”
Added Arquette, “I’m very excited about ‘Escape at Dannemora’ and about working with Ben, Benicio, Michael, Brett and Showtime on this fascinating and dark American love story rooted in real and self-deceptive incarceration.”