Paul Dano is the latest to join Ben Stiller’s Showtime limited series, filling out the third lead alongside Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette, Deadline reports. With the leads all cast, Stiller’s project has officially been given the go-ahead.
Stiller’s eight-hour limited series, titled Escape At Dannemora, is based on the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility prison break which saw the escape of and manhunt for inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat. The events played out like a TV show, with Matt and Sweat receiving help from a married prison employee, Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, with whom Matt was also romantically involved.
“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. “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.”
Escape At Dannemora is written by Brett Johnson (Mad Men, Ray Donovan) and Michael Tolkin (The Player, Ray Donovan), with all eight episodes set to be directed by Stiller and shot at many of the actual locations in upstate New York. Del Toro will play Matt, the architect of the escape who was eventually killed in a confrontation with the police. Dano is set as Sweat, who is now serving 3-7 years on top of his previous life sentence. That leaves Arquette as Mitchell, who joined the project because she found it to be a “fascinating and dark American love story rooted in real and self-deceptive incarceration.”
Stiller, Johnson, and Tolkin executive produce the limited series along with Bryan Zuriff, Michael De Luca, and Nicky Weinstock. Production is set to start later this year.