In its four seasons on Fox, Prison Break amassed a diehard following who were hugely invested in the fates of brothers Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell). After years of plot twists, setbacks, and a few short-lived triumphs, many were understandably enraged when the series ended with Michael’s death.
Five years later, actors Miller and Purcell reunited on the set of The Flash, rekindling their onscreen chemistry as bromancing criminals Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Much like their loyal fans, they started to wonder if there was a way to resurrect their former series, and Fox was soon on board for a limited-event revival set to air in 2017.
This spring, Fox released a trailer for the upcoming nine-episode series. Now EW has shared an early set photo, which you can see below. Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring also spoke about how Miller’s enthusiasm convinced him to revisit the show.
“On some level, that break that we had of six-to-seven years in real life allowed Wentworth to appreciate what he had with Michael Scofield. He said he wanted to inhabit it for a few more episodes. I said, ‘Look, nobody wants to revive this thing for multiple seasons and that whole long slog, but if we can tell a concise, closed-ended story in nine or ten episodes, I’d be amenable to that.'”
The revival flips the script on the original Prison Break, with the miraculously-still-alive Michael now incarcerated and needing his brother’s help to escape. Scheuring found inspiration for the new story in some rather famous ancient Greek poetry:
“It’s ultimately a story about somebody coming back to life. The emotional heart of it is that he left behind a wife and a son he’s never seen before. [I thought] ‘Hey, wait, isn’t that The Odyssey?'”
The connections don’t end there. Like Odysseus, Michael uses the pseudonym “Outis,” which means “nobody.” The prison that “renowned terrorist” Kaniel Outis finds himself in is named Ogygia, a reference to the island Odysseus was held captive on for seven years in Homer’s poem. How Michael was resurrected as Outis remains one of the mysteries viewers will be tuning in for.
We don’t know yet how many more references to The Odyssey will be included, but using an epic as a guide means the new Prison Break will likely pack plenty of danger, temptation, and tragedy into its limited run. The hope is that fans will be treated to all the entertaining twists of a prison escape, while receiving some more satisfying closure to Michael’s story than the original series provided.
Prison Break will air on Thursdays @9pm starting sometime in the spring of 2017 on FOX.