A24’s A Prayer Before Dawn has been one of my most-anticipated movies since I heard it was happening. It has Muay Thai, tells an insane true-life story, and was partially filmed in notorious Thai prisons using real prisoners. All that sets my movie spider sense a-tingling. And a new U.K. trailer has me marking off days on my calendar and contemplating buying a plane ticket.
Stuffed full of new footage, this A Prayer BeforeDawn trailer fits with what we’ve seen before. Based on Billy Moore’s memoir and directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, it’s grim look at brutal prison life, drug addiction, and fighting for redemption.
It follows Moore (Green Room’s Joe Cole), who runs afoul of Thai authorities and finds himself incarcerated and fighting to survive in more ways than one. Here’s an actual synopsis:
A Prayer Before Dawn is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most notorious prisons. He is quickly thrown into a terrifying world of drugs and gang violence, but when the prison authorities allow him to take part in the Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he realizes this might be his chance to get out. Billy embarks on a relentless, action-packed journey from one savage fight to the next, stopping at nothing to do whatever he must to preserve his life and regain his freedom. Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast of primarily real inmates, A Prayer Before Dawn is a visceral, thrilling journey through an unforgettable hell on earth.
Charlie Hunnam was originally supposed to play Moore, and I’m glad he didn’t. Even mussed up, he’s too pretty for me to buy in a role this gritty and down and dirty. And while he’s still a good looking fella, Joe Cole just looks like a better fit, and has shown he can do brutal, realistic fight scenes on screen.
A24 releases A Prayer Before Dawn in the U.S. on August 10, but U.K. audiences will get to see it a few weeks earlier as it touches down in cinemas on July 20 thanks to Altitude Films.