Amy Winehouse Biopic Back To Black Shares First Image As Production Begins

Back To Black

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

It’s official: the Amy Winehouse movie is coming. The spate of iconic musician biopics shows no signs of slowing down (especially with Elvis making a play for the Oscars and I Wanna Dance With Somebody currently playing in cinemas), and production has now begun on a filmic version of the life of Winehouse – an astonishing young talent who tore through the British music scene, faced battles with drugs, the tabloids and society at large (as excellently depicted in Asif Kapadia’s heartbreaking documentary Amy), and passed away well before her time at the age of 27. The biopic will be titled Back To Black, after Winehouse’s second album (and hit song of the same name), and stars Marisa Abela as the singer herself – and you can see her as Winehouse in the image above.

The film comes from acclaimed director Sam Taylor-Johnson – who has form when it comes to music-based films, having helmed the John Lennon-centric Nowhere Boy. In fact, Back To Black sees her re-team with Nowhere Boy writer Matt Greenhalgh, who provides the script here. As for Abela, she’s best known to audiences for her role in TV hit Industry, and will soon be seen in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. A statement about the film has it that Back To Black “will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of ‘90s Camden High Street to global adoration  – and back again”. The intention is, it says, to “[crash] through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.”

The film comes with the backing of the Amy Winehouse Estate and will feature her songs – which Taylor-Johnson says will be central to the movie. “My connection to Amy began when I left college and was hanging out in the creatively diverse London borough of Camden. I got a job at the legendary KOKO club, and I can still breathe every market stall, vintage shop, and street,” she writes in a statement. “A few years later Amy wrote her searingly honest songs whilst living in Camden. Like with me, it became part of her DNA. I first saw her perform at a talent show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho and it was immediately obvious she wasn’t just ‘talent’… she was genius. As a filmmaker you can’t really ask for more. I feel excited and humbled to have this opportunity to realise Amy’s beautifully unique and tragic story to cinema accompanied by the most important part of her legacy – her music. I am fully aware of the responsibility, with my writing collaborator – Matt Greenhalgh – I will create a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy.”

Production is about the begin on the film, so expect Back To Black to it to hit screens either in late 2023, or into 2024.

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