Following a well-attended PaleyLive appearance Wednesday, the stars and executive producers of Fox’s Prison Break drove to Anaheim for the first day of WonderCon, the annual comic book and film convention that has returned to the Anaheim Convention Center this year.
Premiering on Tuesday, the fifth season of Prison Break—dubbed Prison Break: Sequel— picks up with brothers Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) seven years later. It opens with the revelation that Michael is, in fact, alive (that was in doubt at the end of Season 4) and imprisoned in Yemen. It’s up to Lincoln and Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) to free him again.
Following a screening of the Season 5 opener this afternoon, Miller, Purcell, Robert Knepper and Inbar Lavi—a newcomer to the Prison Break world—joined executive producers Vaun Wilmott and Michael Horowitz on a panel, with the EPs discussing their reasons for going back to Prison.
“For me, I was a huge fan of the original series—I wasn’t involved with the original series—and Paul Scheuring, the guy that created the show, I think like Dom and Wentworth, felt that if we were going to do it again, it had to be special, it had to be unique,” Wilmott said. “It had to feel like it was worthy, and he came up with an idea that I think got us all really excited. It was really a privilege and an honor to write a couple of those episodes.”
In the series that ran from 2005-2009, Scofield was wrongly imprisoned and sent to death row after becoming entangled with a political conspiracy, watching as Burrows concocts an elaborate scheme to set him free. Horowitz suggested that one major challenge was finding a place in the fifth season for beloved characters from the original series, while staying faithful to the new direction the show was taking.
“Paul had this amazing bible that was about 70-something pages that took you through the story, and we really wanted to service all the characters from the original series that we loved, but you don’t want to just shoehorn people in there, either,” he said. “So you’ve got to do the brothers, and Sara—you know that—and you’re trying to figure out what else you can put in there.”
While Purcell had no trouble jumping back into the role of Lincoln—a role that has a lot of himself in it—Miller reflected on the journey his character has taken, and the way in which his personal journey has impacted his work.
“Michael Scofield lives in me, and I think always will, courtesy of playing him for four seasons, but I’m a different man now,” the actor said. “When we shot the original, I was 33, 34, so I knew that I had a whole lot of life experience to bring to the table. I think that is one of the things I’m really satisfied to see on screen, is that Michael looks like he’s seen some sh*t—and that’s reflective of the fact that I have, too.”