It’s been nearly eight years since we last caught up with Michael Scofield and his Fox River buddies, but Prison Break is finally coming back for a fifth season in a couple of months. But will this be one last hurrah or a start of a new bunch of seasons? So far, it appears Fox is keeping it as a one-off event series revival, but we’ve collected all the evidence to see whether there could be a sixth season on the horizon, should it prove to be successful.
The creator says it WON’T be back
According to creator Paul Scheuring, the revival will almost certainly be the show’s final outing, so you’d think that would be pretty solid evidence right there. “On some level, that break that we had of six-to-seven years in real life allowed Wentworth [Miller] to appreciate what he had with Michael Scofield,” Scheuring told Entertainment Weekly.
“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’.”
But Wentworth Miller thinks it could return
Michael Scofield himself thinks there’s a chance of more. When Digital Spy spoke to Wentworth at San Diego Comic-Con last year, he told us that he’d be open to another comeback. “There’s always room for more, in my mind,” he said. “As long as it’s a story that’s worth telling, as long as it feels justified and cool and edgy.
“It has to be something that’s not going to let the fans down, that’s going to satisfy and surprise. I’m open to the conversation.” And then at the 2016 Attitude Awards, he told us: “The reboot is nine new episodes airing in spring 2017, and then depending on how it’s received, and who’s available, there could be another conversation about another bite of the apple. We’ll see…”
Sarah Wayne Callies is staying cautious
While the Sara Tancredi actress is hopeful for more, she insisted that the revival had originally been designed as a one-off. “This was pitched as, ‘We’re gonna do nine episodes, drop the mic and walk away’ and I’m fine with that,” she told us. “But it’s also on a long list of things that are out of my control. That’s just not up to me. But I’m taking it as it comes.”
Robert Knepper says Mahone could come back in a further series
Knepper – who plays baddie T-Bag in the series – spoke to us at Comic-Con about the one missing character in the revival: William Fichtner as Alexander Mahone. “I really trust Paul Scheuring – and Paul loves Bill Fichtner and I love Bill Fichtner. He’s a brilliant actor – but Paul honestly said to me, ‘I don’t know what to do with that character’. He didn’t want to just bring everybody back, so that the audience go, ‘Oh, look, it’s Bill Fichtner again!’ – he honestly thought, ‘I’m not sure where to do that in the plot’.
“So if someday there’s another chapter of this, maybe then Bill will be back. But I think the characters that are there, each of our moments that we have, are key to the storytelling, which is how it should be.” So, here’s hoping that it DOES return as we need more Mahone back in our lives.
Are the main actors too busy?
As it’s just a one-off for now, the actors haven’t signed contracts to keep them around any time soon, meaning they’re already involved in other projects that might make future Prison Break seasons tricky. Currently, Wentworth and Dominic Purcell are both regulars on popular DC shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, Sarah Wayne Callies is one of the leads in USA Network sci-fi Colony and Robert Knepper can currently be seen in Homeland.
But we reckon with all those projects, there should be enough time in between to film another limited series like season 5, so it shouldn’t be an impossible task.
How have other revivals fared?
We’re still in the early days of regular TV revivals, but so far results have been on the positive side of mixed.
24 returned for one-off series Live Another Day in 2014 and performed pretty well, and has been granted another spinoff titled Legacy for later this year. Completing their trio of revived series, Fox also brought back The X-Files last year, and while it had mixed reviews, signs look good for a further run, according to Fox President David Madden.