Escape at Dannemora Writer Michael Tolkin Interview

In 2015, Richard Matt and David Sweat broke out of Clinton Correctional prison in the town of Dannemora, with the help of Tilly Mitchell. Matt was having an affair with workplace supervisor Mitchell and convinced her to help them escape. They probably never imagined how the breakout would bring them down, let alone become a Showtime miniseries starring Benicio del Toro as Matt, Paul Dano as Sweat and Patricia Arquette as Mitchell.

Ben Stiller directed the eight hour series Escape at Dannemora, written by Michael Tolkin and Brett Johnson (Jerry Stahl is also credited on two episodes). Johnson came from reality TV and worked on Castle, Mad Men and Ray Donovan. Meanwhile, Tolkin was a Hollywood screenwriter in demand in the ‘90s, and penned the definitive Hollywood fiction The Player, which became a landmark Robert Altman movie.

Tolkin spoke with /Film before Showtime’s Television Critics Association panel for Escape at Dannemora. In addition to the Showtime series, we discussed his transition from film to television, and some of his early industry work like the Christian Slater skateboard vehicle Gleaming the Cube and the short-lived Animal House TV series Delta House.

Escape at Dannemora premieres Sunday, November 18 at 10pm on Showtime. Read More »