Actors best known for their movie roles have been migrating to the small screen in recent years, ranging from Matthew McConaughey to Halle Berry to even Julia Roberts in the not-too-distant future. Now, Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (known for movies like Traffic and Sicario) will be taking a break from the big screen for his first big TV show. He has signed on to star in Showtime's upcoming limited series Escape at Dannemora, which will be based on an intriguing true story.
Escape at Dannemora will be based on the account of the shocking prison break back in 2015 that saw two inmates escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. A pair of convicted murderers broke out of jail with the help of a female prison employee, who was sexually involved with both inmates despite being married to somebody else. A massive manhunt ensued to re-capture the murderers and their accomplice before they could cross the border and escape into Canada or Mexico. The show is billed as a limited series and will run for eight episodes of one hour each.
Benicio Del Toro will star as Richard Matt, who is an imposing figure among the inmates and the mastermind behind the escape. Paul Dano will play Matt's partner in crime, David Sweat, who was in jail for killing a cop but is able to use his good looks to find an ally on the prison staff. Patricia Arquette will play Tilly Mitchell, who is a working class woman and supervisor at the prison tailor shop until she is wooed by Sweat and convinced by the two men to help them make their escape.
There will be a talented group of folks behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera for Escape at Dannemora. Ben Stiller is on board as executive producer and director of all eight episodes. Brett Johnson of Mad Men and Michael Tolkin of The Player will write and executive produce as well. No release date has yet been set by Showtime, so there's no saying how long we'll have to wait before the series makes it to the airwaves. Assuming the series closely follows the real-life story, there should be plenty of action.
Escape at Dannemora will be Benicio Del Toro's first starring role on television. He has appeared in other series -- including an episode of Tales from the Crypt back in 1994 -- but the closest he's come to an ongoing show was the Drug Wars miniseries in 1990. It should be fun to see how he does on the small screen compared to his performances on the big screen. Escape at Dannemora won't be keeping him away from movies, however; viewers can catch him in Star Wars: The Last Jedi when it debuts later this year.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).