Danish-born director Nicolas Winding Refn has started a six-week UK shoot for Bronson, his feature about notorious prisoner Charles Bronson.

Vertigo Films is producing in association with 4DH Films, EM Media, Str8jacket Creations and Aramid Entertainment.

Vertigo's Rupert Preston and 4DH Film's Danny Hansford will produce. Executive producers are Nick Love, Allan Niblo, and James Richardson for Vertigo, Paul Martin for Str8jacket, and Suzanne Alizart for EM Media.

Tom Hardy stars in the title role.Bronsonis shooting for six weeks in Nottinghamshire with DoP Larry Smith (Eyes Wide Shut, Fear X).

Refn previously directed films including the Pusher trilogy and Fear X starring John Turturro.

Vertigo will handle UK distribution (in early 2009) and its new partner sales company Protagonist Pictures will handle interenational sales.

The film looks at the life of Michael Peterson, who later became dangerous prisoner Charles Bronson, who has spent 34 years in prison, including 30 in solitary confinement. Brock Norman Brock wrote the script.

Vertigo's Preston said: 'The combination of Nicolas Winding Refn directing, Tom Hardy starring and this extraordinary story is a very powerful, potent and commercial force.'

Regional screen agency EM Media is backing with $496,470 (£250,000) in production funding through the European Regional Development Fund.

Refn is also gearing up to shoot Viking epic Valhalla Rising, starring Mads Mikkelsen, this summer in Glasgow and the Isle of Skye.

Vertigo is also currently producing Tom Shankland's horror project The Day.