PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ben Stiller’s seven-part TV series about the Dannemora prison escape is premiering Sunday on Showtime.
Stiller hosted a local premiere in Plattsburgh earlier this week. He thanked North Country residents for their patience during the filming of Escape at Dannemora, which was filmed on location.
The series tells the story of the escape of murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat from Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015. The three-week manhunt ended with Matt killed in a shootout and Sweat captured.
Paul Dano plays Sweat and Benicio Del Toro plays Matt in the Stiller-helmed TV drama. Patricia Arquette plays Joyce Mitchell, the prison tailor shop employee who helped the men escape.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is played by Michael Imperioli, best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in “The Sopranos.”
“I think this story has every element that would grab Hollywood,” Chelsia Rose Marcius, journalist and author of Wild Escape, told CBS2’s Tony Aiello in July. “There’s so much material to work with, there’s so much of a story to be told.”
Escape at Dannemora is based off of Marcius’ book. She spent 100 hours interviewing Sweat, who told Marcius he felt “born again” during his 22 days on the run.
“David Sweat had not been out of prison for 12 years,” Marcius recalled. “Just simple things like seeing the lakes and rivers and mountains were a big deal for him.”
Cuomo’s schedule shows he spent time with Imperioli and series writer Bret Johnson late last year.
“I think in the series the governor is a supporting character, but during the event he was a leading man, touring the prison, leading the briefings, he was all over it,” Marcius said. “During the escape, during the manhunt he said ‘this is made for TV, this is a movie script’.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)