June 2 (UPI) – Oscar winners Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette are to star in Escape at Dannemora, a Showtime limited series inspired by a real prison break and subsequent manhunt in New York.

Ben Stiller will executive produce and direct all eight episodes, which will also feature Paul Dano.

“Del Toro will play convicted murderer Richard Matt, an artistic yet intimidating force within the prison, who masterminds the escape,” a press release said. “Arquette will play Tilly Mitchell, a working class, married woman who supervises the prison tailor shop and becomes sexually involved with both convicts, inducing her to assist them with their escape. Dano will play David Sweat, a convicted cop-killer who uses his good looks to seduce Tilly and becomes a reluctant partner in Richard Matt’s plot.”

Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin are executive producing the project, which Stiller is expected to begin shooting later this year at the actual locations where the events transpired.

“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 Friday. “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.”

“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,” added Arquette.



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