Tagline: The Man. The Myth. The Celebrity
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Brock Norman Brock (screenplay), Nicolas Winding Refn (screenplay)
Release Date: (UK)
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violent and disturbing content, graphic nudity, sexuality and language
Genre: Action | Biography | Crime | Drama | Thriller
Runtime: 92 min
In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and ‘Charles Bronson,’ his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson – a scathing indictment of celebrity culture.
|… Charlie’s Mum
|… Charlie’s Dad
- The British Prison Officers’ Association complained when the film’s London premiere was prefaced with a recording by Charles Bronson himself, recorded at HMP Wakefield, where he stated: “I’m proud of this film, because if I drop dead tonight, then I live on. I make no bones about it, I really was… a horrible, violent, nasty man. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it either… See you at the Oscars.” It is illegal in the UK to make unauthorized recordings of prison inmates. This recording appears on some DVD-editions.
- Jason Statham was originally asked to play Charles Bronson but scheduling conflicts avoided him from appearing in this film.
- Tom Hardy put on 3 stone (42 lb) to play Charlie Bronson, doing 2500 press-ups a day for five weeks.
- Bronson was born under the name of Michael Gordon Peterson on the 6th December, 1952, in Aberystwyth, Wales.
- The line “it was absolute madness at its very best” was written by Charles Bronson himself for the film and told to Nicolas Winding Refn during one of their phone calls.
- Nicolas Winding Refn was not allowed to meet Charles Bronson in person since he is not from Britain, but was allowed to have two phone calls with him. Tom Hardy met with Bronson several times and the two became good friends. Bronson was impressed with how Hardy managed to get just as muscular as he was and how well he could mimic his own personality and voice. Bronson has stated he believes Hardy was the only person who could play him.
- Charles Bronson was not allowed to see the film, but said that if his mom liked it, that would be enough for him. His mother loved it.