Stephen King’s famous Shawshank prison and the improbable escape it’s most well-known for was on everyone’s minds in the summer of 2015. That’s when two inmates of the Upstate New York Clinton Correctional Facility managed to escape having created a tunnel out of the prison. This was The Shawshank Redemption IRL and the manhunt that followed became a media sensation. Especially when people learned that the two inmates (both serving time for murder) had gotten help from a woman working in the prison, who may have been sexually involved with them. It’s the kind of story that was made to be put on screen and that’s exactly what we’re getting in Showtime’s limited series Escape At Dannemora.
The 8-episode miniseries is being executive produced and directed by Ben Stiller and features an A-list cast. A de-glammed Patricia Arquette is playing Tilly Mitchell, the married prison worker who helps out David Sweat (Paul Dano) and Richard Matt (Benicio del Toro). As we see in the recently released trailer, frumpy Tilly is seemingly seduced by the two men, and begins bringing them tools that help them dig their escape tunnel. With a grimy, gritty aesthetic (this isn’t Litchfield — not even Litchfield Max!), the show may well be del Toro’s chance to add an Emmy to his already crowded awards shelf. As Matt, he’s equal parts alluring and terrifying—not least because his slicked back hair is paired with some bushy eyebrows that make the Puerto Rican actor even creepier than usual.
Backstage with the new #Showtime limited event series #EscapeAtDannemora, directed by @RedHourBen! Their panel is up now at #TCA18. #BenicioDelToro @PattyArquette #PaulDano #BenStiller #BrettJohnson #MichaelTolkin pic.twitter.com/ngdxb9sWSS
— Showtime (@Showtime) August 6, 2018
“If you focus on something in your mind,” he says at one point in the trailer, “and feel it in your heart, and you commit to it, it will come true.” It’s the kind of self-assurance that make him bold enough to try and think he could get away with such a wild escape plan. Spoiler alert: things don’t go too well once the two men get out. Joining Arquette, del Toro, and Dano are Bonnie Hunt, Eric Lange, David Morse, and Dominic Colón.
Check out the full trailer below and try to shake off the look of Benicio’s eyebrows right after if you can.
Escape At Dannemora premieres November 8, 2018 on Showtime.