The first trailer for Francis Annan’s “Escape From Pretoria” was released Wednesday, on the 40th anniversary of the real event on which the film is based. Revealed in an exclusive by Empire, the “Escape From Pretoria” trailer is a heart-pounding look into the real-life events of Tim Jenkin’s incarceration for promoting anti-apartheid propaganda.

For those wondering exactly what is “Escape From Pretoria” about, it chronicles Jenkin’s, Stephen Lee’s, and other white South Africans in their 1979 breakout from Pretoria Local Prison. Much like Nelson Mandela, Jenkin and his compatriots were arrested on charges of distributing flyers for banned organizations and were branded terrorists given their affiliation with the African National Congress.

Over the course of several months, which simultaneously saw the prisoners planning their escape as the prison security was ramped up to challenge the growing anti-apartheid sentiment of the times, Jenkin and Lee designed their own makeshift wooden keys in order to free themselves from wrongful imprisonment.

The “Escape From Pretoria” movie, which was filmed mostly in South Australia’s Adelaide, is based on the book by Jenkins called “Inside Out: Escape From Pretoria Prison.” The script was co-written by its first-time feature film director, Annan, alongside L.H. Adams.

The “Escape From Pretoria” cast includes Daniel Radcliffe as Jenkin, Daniel Webber as Lee, Ian Hart as Denis Goldberg, and Mark Leonard Winter as Leonard Fontaine. Jenkin himself will also be making an appearance in a non-speaking role as a prisoner in the waiting room.


A post shared by Just Jared (@justjared) on

Arclight Films recently signed a deal to help distribute the film. In a statement, Arclight chairman Gary Hamilton said of the project:

“'Escape From Pretoria’ is an elevated and timely relevant thriller that will stand the test of time. All the partners who have stepped up to embrace this amazing film are top-notch and we could not be happier to be in business with companies who consistently deliver the best distribution results.”

daniel radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe at the TCA Turner Winter Press Tour Presentation on Jan. 11, 2018, in Pasadena, California. John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner