HBO has recruited every movie-star actress to create a constellation of limited series, and now Showtime has recruited Ben Stiller to helm a crime drama. Stiller will direct and executive produce Escape at Dannemora, an eight-hour limited series based on the true story of the prison break and three-week manhunt in upstate New York that briefly captivated cable news in 2015. Dannemora will follow the crafty plans the inmates made for an escape, which involved coaxing a female prison employee into helping two convicted murderers burrow out of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility through pipes and tunnels. Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano will play the inmates — Del Toro the mastermind Richard Matt, and Dano as David Sweat the seductive charmer, according to a release. (Yes, you read that right: Benicio Del Toro will not be The Sexy One.) Patricia Arquette will be Tillie Mitchell, the woman who supervises the prison’s tailor shop and gets entangled in the plot to break out. Escape at Dannemora will be written and executive produced by Brett Johnson (Mad Men) and Michael Tolkin (The Player), who both worked on Ray Donovan. We’re getting a Super Sad True Love Story from Ben Stiller and Showtime after all, just not the one we thought.
Ben Stiller. Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images