A new Paul Ferris movie, based on the Scottish gangster’s life, is in the pipeline – and not before time!
Ferris, a former Glasgow gangster turned author, announced news of the upcoming film on November 15 on Twitter. He stated that funding has been secured for the project and casting for the movie would start soon – with actors being sought from several areas across the UK, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and London.
The new film is based on a book written by Paul Ferris and the late crime author and investigative journalist, Reg McKay. The book, entitled ‘Villains: It Takes One to Know One’, delves into the real stories of some of Britain’s most notorious gangland players – from the point of view of one of their own.
Villains: It Takes One to Know One was Ferris’ fourth book, originally released in October, 2006.
This is the real inside story of notorious villains, by one of their own. Murder, gunrunning, drug trafficking, kneecappings – Paul Ferris has been accused of many things in his life, some true, some not. What’s not in dispute is that he spent twenty-five years as one of Britain’s most feared gangsters. Out of prison and straight for five years, Paul still hasn’t forgotten the common thugs and big-time players that surrounded him or the world of violence, fear and uneasy alliances that he inhabited with them.
Now Paul Ferris recounts the stories of a tough existence that nobody knows better. The brutality you’d expect, the strangeness you might not. There’s the man wanted by everyone from the Old Bailey to Glasgow High Court but who might just be a figment of the cops’ imagination; the rise of women in the underworld, with unheard-of power and loaded pistols in thigh holsters; or the betrayed Manchester face who visited a gang’s club and sprayed it with bullets, only to become the gang’s hero overnight.
The stories cover the underbellies of London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester and beyond, but the material couldn’t be closer to home – from the job Paul’s father, Willie Ferris, pulled with a school bus full of kids as the getaway vehicle, to the war Paul got caught up in between two of London’s biggest teams. And, as you’ll discover, when it comes to villains, it takes one to know one.
Paul Ferris was one of Britain’s most feared gangsters for twenty-five years. He knew, and worked with, the biggest gangsters in the UK – everyone from Arthur Thompson, the Godfather of Glasgow, to the Addams family in London and Rab Carruthers in Manchester.
Born in Glasgow on 10 November 1963, Ferris began his criminal ‘career’ as a teen, with his first arrest coming at the age of 17 for assault and robbery. He went on to become a debt collector and enforcer for the late Arthur Thompson Sr, in the early 1980s.
Ferris was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years, with the most notable arrest being for the murder of Arthur Thompson’s son, Arthur Jr, who died after being shot outside his home. Hundreds of witnesses were called to give evidence in the ensuing trial, which lasted fifty four days and ran at a total cost of £4 million. At the time it was the longest and most expensive trial in Scottish history – and ended with Ferris being acquitted of all charges.
Ferris was again arrested in 1997, following a surveillance operation by MI5 and Special Branch. This time he was sentenced to ten years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to deal in firearms and possessing explosives. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to seven years.
Upon his release from Franklin Prison in County Durham in 2002, Ferris vowed to give up his life of crime.
Ferris spent his time wisely in prison, and co-authored his biography ‘The Ferris Conspiracy‘ with Reg McKay, which sold 20,000 copies during his imprisonment.
This is not the first Paul Ferris movie – a film based on the life of Paul Ferris, The Wee Man, was released in 2013, directed by Ray Burdis, and starring Martin Compston as Ferris, with John Hannah as Tam McGraw.
Paul Ferris stated in an interview how he regretted wasting his life and the impact his image has had on his children.
*UPDATE*— Paul Ferris (@PaulFerris_Gla) November 15, 2020
A new film based on my book – Villains: It Takes One to Know One… Is the new project for 2021.
Funding has now been secured – casting will start soon.
Actors from #Glasgow #Newcastle #Manchester #Liverpool or #London – get your CV's ready 😏
More to follow 📽️✍️✌️ pic.twitter.com/xJ8zjKmXi5
News Update:💥 Casting will start soon on the film based on the book 'Villains: It Takes One to Know One'.https://t.co/4ZwhDFlpqJ— Paul Ferris (@PaulFerris_Gla) November 17, 2020
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