Hulu locks down Prison Break reboot

Prison Break
(l-r: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller)

Hulu is set to breathe new life into the beloved Prison Break series, as reports confirm that the streaming service is in the early stages of developing a fresh iteration of the action-packed show.

While this exciting revival will not follow the central characters from the original series, played by Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, it will exist within the same fictional universe.

Elgin James, known for his role as the showrunner of Mayans MC, is spearheading this ambitious project. He will be responsible for crafting the script and will serve as an executive producer. Joining him in the executive producer’s chair are industry heavyweights Dawn Olmstead, Paul Scheuring, Marty Adelstein, and Neal Moritz.

Notably, Scheuring is the original creator of Prison Break. The series will be produced by 20th Television, the same company that brought the original show to life and with which Elgin James holds an overall deal.

For those unfamiliar with the original series, it first premiered on Fox in 2005 and was centered around the character of Michael Scofield, portrayed by Wentworth Miller. Scofield, a structural engineer, intentionally commits an armed robbery to secure a prison sentence at the same facility where his brother, Lincoln Burrows (played by Dominic Purcell), is wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. The show’s intricate plot follows Michael’s elaborate escape plan to free his brother, drawing in various other inmates along the way.

The series had a successful run of four seasons, including storylines beyond the initial escape, re-imprisonment in Panama, and uncovering the underlying conspiracy. A limited series revival in 2017 delighted fans with another installment.

Elgin James, well-recognized for his work on the Mayans MC spinoff of Sons of Anarchy, also co-created the popular Prime Video/BBC comedy series The Outlaws alongside Stephen Merchant.

Originally Chicago-Made

The production of the original Prison Break series was a massive undertaking, with much of the first season filmed on location in and around Chicago. Here are some intriguing details about the filming locations and the costs involved:

Joliet Prison, which had closed its doors in 2002, underwent a remarkable transformation in 2005 when it became the set for Prison Break as Fox River State Penitentiary. This real-life prison served as the backdrop for various pivotal scenes in the series.

The production crew meticulously recreated the prison environment for the show. Several key settings, such as Lincoln’s cell, the infirmary, and the prison yard, were shot on location at the Joliet Prison, giving an authentic feel to the series.

It’s worth noting that Lincoln’s cell was rumored to have been the same place where the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy was once incarcerated. This chilling fact reportedly deterred at least one crew member from entering the cell, given its alleged haunted history.

To fully capture the essence of the prison, additional sets were constructed within the prison premises. For instance, cell blocks designed to house the general prison population were created. These blocks featured three tiers of cells, which was a modification from the real prison’s four-tier design. These adjustments were made to accommodate the actors and camera equipment.

Beyond the prison, various exterior scenes were filmed in and around Chicago, Woodstock, and Joliet in Illinois. These locations provided a diverse backdrop for the series’ unfolding drama.

The production extended beyond Illinois. Some scenes were filmed at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, contributing to the show’s variety of settings. Additionally, portions of the series were shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, highlighting the international scope of the story.

The cinematic scale of the Prison Break is reflected in its budget. The series allocated a substantial $2 million per episode in the state of Illinois, amounting to a total production cost of $24 million in the year 2005.

While specific details about the new Prison Break iteration are still emerging, fans of the series can anticipate fresh storylines, characters, and intrigue within the established universe. The project promises to capture the essence of the original while providing an entirely new perspective, likely to captivate both long-time fans and newcomers to the world of Prison Break.

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