The Fox show "Prison Break" ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2009, and now it's back on Fox for a special event reboot. Twelve years since the show debuted, the relationship between the show's two leads — Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell — continues to be the show's heart.
"In the original audition, the chemistry read for the original series, for the pilot, I think that as soon as they got together and did the scene, everybody in the room was like, 'These are the guys,'" show producer Vaun Wilmott told members of the press.
After the original show ended, Miller and Purcell didn't see each other for five years, but then they reunited as supervillains on CW superhero show "The Flash."
"The moment we were back on set, it was just right into the groove," Miller said. "Somewhere over the course of playing his brother over 81 episodes, he just became my brother. And we are as opposite as opposite can be, nothing in common, and yet it works. Dominic is a model of a certain kind of manhood for me."
They'd also continued to develop that relationship on a show spun off from "The Flash," "Legends Of Tomorrow," playing criminals with a relationship that Miller said definitely played with the same dynamic from "Prison Break." The new season picks up with Miller and Purcell's brother characters, Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows, in a mystery modeled after Homer's "The Odyssey."
For the new take on "Prison Break," they're trying to up the ante by going international, which includes bringing on actress Inbar Lavi as new character Sheba, a Yemeni activist. Lavi said that she bonded with the rest of the cast through the adversity of shooting on location in Morocco, which stands in on the series for Yemen.
"Morocco is hot," Lavi said. "It was really dusty. There isn't always clean water. There isn't always electricity. Aesthetics in the restrooms is not something that's easy to come by. I think the beauty in places with challenges is the human instinct to come together and overcome it together ... And it became what we did on set. Everyone took care of one another."
Lavi said she was proud to add another strong female voice to the show, along with bringing more diversity to the cast as an Israeli-American actress with Moroccan ancestry.
Miller said that he's excited about the opportunity to jump right into the story, thanks to fans already knowing the characters. He warned that it would include Scofield becoming darker.
"One of the push-pulls in the original series, out of which came something interesting and fruitful, was the powers that be wanting Michael to stay the white knight, and me being more excited about him existing in the grayscale," Miller said. "And it's satisfying to me in this reboot to see him drifting even farther over to the dark side."
The fresh start for the series means a new mystery, and the show's producers said they're thankful they have a seven-year gap before the events of the new show.
"It was progressively harder to set up [mysteries] in other seasons," show producer Michael Horowitz said.
"That time lag actually did allow us to do a season 1 puzzle/mystery in a really fresh new way," Wilmott said. "The story is very much like season 1, in that you understand that a brother who had a brother who died, who passed away, he suddenly discovers that maybe he's alive, and you go on that journey."
The producers are hoping to recapture what made the original show resonate throughout the culture.
"I remember reading [the original series' pilot], and it was so clearly just an amazing concept and story for a network show, for a big show, because it had all the things that are like, it's that simple idea: a brother going in to save another brother, the love between them, what would you do, all the themes that we know and understand," Wilmott said.
This season gives fans who were upset with the dark, tragic ending of the original "Prison Break" to get what they were hoping for.
"I was an advocate as far as Michael paying the ultimate price [at the end of the original series], because his hands were so filthy by that point," Miller said. "So I was OK with how things worked out. I know a lot of the fans were not, so this is kind of a way to give them what they wanted as well. It's another ending."
Will that other ending be a happier one? Fans have nine episodes of this limited series to find out — the show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.