Prison Break Star Shares Terrifying Story Behind On-Set Injury
Back in August, Fox confirmed that they're bringing back the hit show Prison Break with a new event series that is slated to debut next spring. Original cast members Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar and Paul Adelstein all set to return. Production is currently under way, but last month, the show suffered a horrifying setback when Dominic Purcell was seriously injured on the set. Over the weekend, the actor made his first public appearance just two weeks after the accident, revealing details about his injury and the plot of this new series.
Deadline caught up with Dominic Purcell last night at the launch party for the Australian luxury watch Bausele, where he shed some light on the accident that took place on the Morocco set on May 30. The actor suffered a broken nose and head injury when a set piece was dislodged and an iron bar fell on his head. The actor had two massive gashes on the top of his head, the larger of which required 150 stitches, and he also received 20 stitches on his left elbow, stitches for his broken nose and near his left eyebrow and had minor cuts on his arms that are healing. Here's what the actor had to say about his on-set injury.
"Physically, I'm fine. The accident was shocking, more than anything else. I mean, it was a scene where I was running into the prison, and I felt this extraordinary explosion on my head that I'd never experienced. It wasn't like someone was slowly cutting my arm kind of pain; it was this sudden explosion. I dropped to my knees, and I was in shock. It was like, what the f**k has just happened to me? And then I'm just leaning over and the blood is just pouring out like a shower, and my stunt guy came up beside me, and I looked at him and said, 'Dude, what the f**k's going on? What happened?' And he said, 'Your head's split right open, I can see your skull, your nose is on the other side of your face. I kind of just sat there for a moment in shock. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this - I expected that I was either going to black out or die, because in my brain, when he said my skull was showing, I just assumed that my skull was cracked, and blood was going to go into my brain, and I was going to f**king die in Morocco. I thought I was going to die. So physically, I'm one hundred percent. You wouldn't believe it-you saw the pictures-I'm good to go. I actually start filming Prison Break on Monday."
In the all-new event series, filmed on location in Morocco, clues surface that suggest a previously thought-to-be-dead Michael (Wentworth Miller) may be alive. Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies, Michael's wife until he was assumed dead, reunite to engineer the series' biggest escape ever, as three of Fox River State Penitentiary's most notorious escapees, Sucre Amaury Nolasco), T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar), are pulled back into the action. When asked more about the scene in question when the accident took place, Dominic Purcell had this to say.
"It was just basically me running into this prison to look for my brother, Michael. I can't reveal too much of the plot, obviously, but there was a reason why I was running in, and a reason why all the guards were running out of the prison. Because basically, the regime in Yemen had collapsed, it was in complete chaos and turmoil, and the gates were open so all the prisoners were released. And I'm running in trying to get through and find Michael, and I can't. But then the iron bar hit me on the head, and apparently, the whole cage then collapsed on me after I hit the ground. But I didn't feel that."
The actor also revealed that he wasn't written out of any scenes while he was recovering from his injuries over the past two weeks. He said that he had just four days left of shooting on that episode, so the production used his stuntman for wide shots while Dominic Purcell was away from the set, and that when the production shifts back to Vancouver, they'll bring the actor back for close-up shots. Here's what he had to say about how the injuries will actually be written into the show.
"We're jumping to episodes eight and nine, which we haven't shot, and we're going to play the injuries in it. They'll just write something where Lincoln gets bashed in the head with an iron bar or something. No one expected me to recover so quickly. If you look at my face now, we can get away with it. My nose is still swollen up here and my eyes are still a bit swollen, I have bone fragments-because my nose was smashed on the side-that I'm getting taken care of at the end of the year. I'm going to go back to Casablanca, and the same doctor's going to work on me again."
The original producing team, including series creator Paul T. Scheuring, Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein and Dawn Olmstead, will return to executive-produce the new series, with Scheuring serving as showrunner/writer. The cast also includes Mark Feuerstein as Jacob Anton Ness, Augustus Prew as Whip, Rick Yune as Ja, Inbar Lavi as Sheba. When asked for more specifics on the plot, Dominic Purcell had this to say.
"It's tying into what's going on in the world today with terrorism. The show is taking place in Yemen; we're dealing with ISIS and ISA, and obviously we left off with Michael presumably dead. He wasn't, he ended up working for this organization. It got to the point where he couldn't do it anymore, and they threw him in a jail in Yemen to change his mind. He didn't change his mind, they set him up...Paul Scheuring has written all of the nine episodes. Honestly, the fans are going to be blown away by this. It's really a riveting, high-tension thriller. It's an extraordinary, extraordinary show. I've seen the dailies of it, and it looks like a cross between Bourne Identity and American Sniper. It's crazy. It's really, really cool."
Fans may be wondering how Wentworth Miller's Michael Scofield will return, since the character died in the straight-to-video movie Prison Break: The Final Break. Dana Walden confirmed that Paul Scheuring, who left the TV series after Season 2, pitched a viable explanation regarding these characters' fates. The event series will debut in the Thursday 9 PM ET time slot this spring, although a premiere date has not yet been given. It isn't known how much more filming is left on Prison Break but we'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on the show and Dominic Purcell's horrifying injury.