Daniel Radcliffe to star in movie about daring escape from a South Africa prison

Daniel Radcliffe will star in an upcoming thriller based on Tim Jenkin's account of his escape from Pretoria Maximum Security Prison.
Daniel Radcliffe will star in an upcoming thriller based on Tim Jenkin's account of his escape from Pretoria Maximum Security Prison.PHOTO: AFP

CANNES (AFP) - Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in the epic story of a white anti-apartheid activist who escaped from one of South Africa's toughest jails, the film's producers said on Friday.

The breakout thriller Escape From Pretoria is based on Tim Jenkin's account of his dramatic escape from the notorious Pretoria Maximum Security Prison with his friend Stephen Lee in 1979.

Jenkin, now 68, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for handing out leaflets supporting the then banned African National Congress.

But the following year, he managed to make a set of wooden keys for a series of doors inside the jail, which housed the country's death row inmates.

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Using a device made from a broom handle and a mirror he had hidden in his cell, Jenkin opened his cell door and then freed his neighbour and friend Lee.

Both managed to slip out of the tightly guarded prison and eventually flee to London.

Radcliffe, 27, has also been signed up to play the lead in the action comedy Guns Akimbo, which was also unveiled at Cannes.