A feature-length film about Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is planned to hit cinema screens next year, on the 30th anniversary of the Bradford lorry driver’s arrest.

Some scenes for the film, being made by London-based Praslin Pictures, have been shot at locations Sutcliffe haunted in Bradford.

The movie, which is aimed at smaller art house cinemas, has been given the seal of approval by Richard McCann, son of Sutcliffe’s first murder victim Wilma McCann.

Mr McCann has recorded a message for the start of the film, in which he says he has forgiven the serial killer but still feels he should never be released.

He said yesterday: “I have seen a great deal of the film. I was a bit nervous about watching it, but it took me by surprise. There are no killings, no blood and gore in it.

“It has been done tastefully and respectfully and I have given it my backing. I feel happy in knowing the film is being made in this way.”

A test screening was shown to an invited audience of about 40 people at the National Media Museum in Bradford earlier this week.

Stephanie Charmail, the film’s production manager, said it had been a chance for the people of Bradford to help in the direction of the film, which was not yet a finished product. The audience had filled in questionnaires.

Miss Charmail said: “People were saying it is being dealt with sensibly and sensitively.

“We are not showing any of the attacks, or violence, out of respect for the families. We have done it as sensitively as possible, always bearing in mind the families of the victims.

“We were more interested in the man and his mind. We wanted to look into his background and look more at who he is and why he is. We have spoken to people who used to work with him, have a drink with him, or knew him.”

Sutcliffe’s brother, Mick, said he hoped the film might be more sensitive towards his brother and look into what went wrong and why it went wrong.

He said: “People don’t know what he was really like. He has just been depicted as a monster from the start, but that’s not the case.

“I haven’t been contacted about the film. I would have liked to have seen a script to see how accurate it was.”

Now calling himself Peter Coonan, his mother’s maiden name, the former lorry driver, 64, of Heaton, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981. He received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women.

e-mail: steve.wright @telegraphandargus.co.uk