1:18pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Comic-Con: 'Prison Break' Cast Says "More Mature" Revival Remains "True to the Show's DNA"
Prison Break returns in 2017 with new episodes six years after the drama went off the air. Ironically, it was the man whose onscreen death capped the original series who engineered the revival.
"The green light essentially came from Wentworth [Miller]," his onscreen brother Dominic Purcell told the crowd Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con.
The two first reunited when Miller suggested Purcell for a role on the CW series Legends of Tomorrow. "We got on set and it was just like we hadn't been apart for all these years and we started talking about Prison Break and we started mulling through the idea of, 'Let's revisit this,'" said Purcell.
The two approached the producers and "the process was very quick after that," he said.
Although it was Miller's idea to return to the show, he had certain mandates for the new installments. Specifically, to combine what fans loved about the show and "be true to the show's DNA … but also something radical and different and new," said the actor.
Miller specifically praised executive producer Paul Scheuring's "topical, edgy point of view."
Robert Knepper admits he had a knee-jerk reaction when he first heard about the revival. "We've got to make it different. Please don’t just give the audience what we've seen before," he said. "These characters have changed over six years. I got a promise from [the producers] that was indeed going to be the case."
The actor says the writers have lived up to that promise thus far. "We're going to go into a much deeper place, more mature, more brazen and simpler," he said.
The nine-episode revival picks up after Michael's apparent death. Sara is remarried and has moved on with her life. When clues surface suggesting that Michael could be alive, Sara joins forces with Lincoln to plot the series’ biggest escape ever.
After opening the panel with a new trailer for the revival, the executive producers unveiled a scene from the second episode. "I think you'll immediately get the sense that it’s a new world," executive producer Vaun Wilmott told the Comic-Con crowd before the scene. "It's Michael doing what Michael does so well."
That new world includes a "fresh set of tattoos" for Michael. "They are central to the plot, but they don’t work quite the same way they did the first time around," Miller teased.
Although the process to develop the revival was fairly seamless, the entire project was nearly derailed when Purcell was injured on set in early June. The actor, who broke his nose after an iron bar fell on his head, opened up about the incident and thanked his girlfriend, the producers and Miller specifically for all their efforts during that time.
"It was upsetting, of course," said Miller. "The man is my brother in every way but blood, and it’s a testament to his fortitude and his professionalism that he was back at work in an unbelievably short amount of time. We would not have been able to finish these nine episodes had he not rallied."
It's that bond, both onscreen and off, that producers say has kept the show's popularity in tact all these years later. "I think it resonates because of family, because of the bond between the brothers," said Wilmott. "That's universal and it's something that everyone can relate to."
Prison Break is set to return next year on Fox. Watch a sneak peek of the revival below.
Watch the new trailer below:
Watch the panel highlights below.