Amy Winehouse’s legacy is getting the big screen treatment.
Following the acclaimed A24 documentary “Amy,” Winehouse’s life now lands a narrative feature with biopic “Back to Black” directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. “Industry” breakout star Marisa Abela portrays the ill-fated British crooner who died at age 27.
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The official synopsis reads: “The extraordinary story of Amy Winehouse’s early rise to fame from her early days in Camden through the making of her groundbreaking 2006 album, ‘Back to Black,’ that catapulted Winehouse to global fame. Told through Amy’s eyes and inspired by her deeply personal lyrics, the film explores and embraces the many layers of the iconic artist and the tumultuous love story at the center of one of the most legendary albums of all time.”
The film is written by “Nowhere Boy” scribe Matt Greenhalgh, and co-stars Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as Winehouse’s father Mitch Winehouse, and Lesley Manville as her maternal grandmother.
Winehouse’s music, including title track “Back to Black,” was licensed for the feature, made with the full support of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Publishing, and The Amy Winehouse Estate. A first look at the film showed Abela as Winehouse in the recording studio.
Director Taylor-Johnson recalled seeing Winehouse perform live, saying in a press statement, “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 realize 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.”
The film was announced in July 2022 and landed at Focus Features in January 2023, shortly before production began in London. “Back to Black” is produced by Alison Owen and Debra Hayward of Monumental Pictures, with Nicky Kentish-Barnes, Ron Halpern, and Joe Naftalin executive producing on behalf of Studio Canal.
Winehouse died at age 27 in 2011 from alcohol abuse. Mitch commemorated the anniversary of her passing in 2022, writing, “11 years ago Amy passed into immortality. She will always be 27 years old and she will always sing our favorite songs. And we will always miss our sweet girl.”
The film is executive produced by director Taylor-Johnson, Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern, and Joe Naftalin, with Alison Owen, Debra Hayward, and Nicky Kentish-Barnes producing. “Back to Black” is a Focus Features release.
“Back to Black” premieres May 17 in theaters. Check out the trailer below.
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