ONE of Britain’s hottest young actors is to play the former Ellesmere Port man regarded as the country’s most dangerous prisoner.
Charles Bronson, whose real name is Michael Peterson, was first jailed in 1975 for armed robbery and, with the exception of a short spell of freedom 13 years ago, has been held ever since for repeated offences inside jail.
He is currently serving a life sentence in Wakefield Prison for the last incident, when he held a knife to the throat of prison teacher Philip Danielson in 1999.
Now his life story is being told in a new film with Tom Hardy, 30-year-old star of the film Black Hawk Down and TV mini-series Band of Brothers.
Officials initially blocked the movie but now Bronson, who spent his early years in Ellesmere Port, has been allowed a visit from the actor to discuss the project.
Hardy, seen most recently playing Bill Sykes in an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Oliver! over Christmas, had repeatedly been refused access to Bronson, 55.
But prison officials relented after a formal complaint was lodged by Bronson complaining his rights had been infringed.
Filming for Bronson: My Story is due to start next month.
Bronson has served time in numerous jails, staged eight rooftop protests, assaulted 20 prison officers and caused £500,000 worth of damage. He has taken hostages on 10 occasions.
But, according to a family member who contacted the Pioneer in 2006 and wished to remain anonymous, most of what has been written about him is pure fiction.
While in prison he has developed an extreme fitness regime and performs 2,500 press-ups a day.
In 2002 he published a book, Solitary Fitness, detailing an individual training process with minimal resources and space.
For the past 10 years Bronson has occupied himself by writing poetry, producing pieces of art and has published 10 books.
He has just sent a Christmas card to the Pioneer in which he says that if his legal team get him out, he’ll be having a party at the Civic Hall – after first throwing one at the Dorchester in London.
He writes: “I’ve fond memories of the Port and still in touch with old, loyal friends.”
He that adds his new book, Loonyology, will be published in June.