Back To Black: The Amy Winehouse Biopic Arrives In Cinemas This Week

By Olivia Emily

3 months ago

Here's everything to expect


Last summer, Deadline broke the news that an Amy Winehouse biopic was in the works, chronicling the life of the Grammy award winning singer who tragically died in 2011 – and it’s finally here. With Sam Taylor-Johnson directing, here’s everything your need to know about Back To Black before you head to the cinema.

Back To Black: Everything You Need To Know

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in Back To Black

© StudioCanal UK

What Is Back To Black About?

Back To Black chronicles the life and music of Winehouse (played by Marisa Abela), the British, Grammy-award winning jazz singer famous for the hit records ‘Rehab’ and ‘Back To Black’, whose life was tragically cut short in 2011, aged 27-years-old, due to alcohol poisoning. While Winehouse is well-known for her drug and alcohol abuse, Back To Black will also delve into the part romance played in influencing her music. We will see the electric first-meeting of Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil (played by Jack O’Connell), now well known as her no-good husband and addiction enabler.

Back to Black will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did,’ StudioCanal said upon the film’s announcement. ‘A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of ’90s Camden High Street to global adoration – and back again, Back to Black crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.’

Back To Black follows the 2015 documentary film Amy, which was directed by Adif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, and premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The film received critical acclaim and accolades such as the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the Best Music Film at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and the BAFTA award for Best Documentary. Rumours of a biopic have circulated since 2018, alongside rumours of a West End/Broadway musical about Amy, which her father Mitch hinted at in 2017.

The Cast

Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in Back To Black, supported by a star-studded cast. The full cast is as follows:

  • Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse
  • Jack O’Connell as Blake Fielder-Civil, Amy’s husband from 2007 to 2009
  • Eddie Marsan as Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father
  • Juliet Cowan as Janis Winehouse-Collins, Amy’s mother
  • Lesley Manville as Cynthia Winehouse, Amy’s grandmother
Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in Back To Black

© StudioCanal UK

Is Amy Winehouse’s Music In Back To Black?

We’re happy to confirm that yes, Amy’s music will feature in her biopic, Back To Black, with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Publishing working on production alongside StudioCanal, Focus Features and Monumental Pictures. This is in contrast to Sofia Coppola’s recent Priscilla biopic, for example, which did not have the rights to include any of Elvis’ music.

Production

In July 2022, Deadline revealed that Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy, Fifty Shades of Grey) would be directing the Amy Winehouse biopic, which Hollywood had spent years ‘working on getting […] off the ground’. The script was written by Matt Greenhalgh, with Focus Features distributing and Studiocanal producing with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward alongside Tracey Seaward.

British actor Marisa Abela was the first confirmed actor in Back To Black, playing Winehouse. On 13 January 2023, Studiocanal UK tweeted: ‘One of music’s greatest artists, Amy Winehouse, comes to the big screen in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Back to Black. With cameras rolling from next week, we’re thrilled to release this first look at rising star Marisa Abela as Amy.’

Abela is known for her roles in the TV series Industry and COBRA. In 2023, she also starred Greta Gerwig’s Barbie as Teen Talk Barbie. Taking to Instagram, Abela acknowledged the announcement of her role as Winehouse with a series of images, including one of her standing in front of a large street art mural of Winehouse and another showing her wearing Winehouse’s signature jewellery, including chunky hoop earrings, a necklace reading ‘Amy Jade’, and a Monroe (upper lip) piercing.

‘”And for London. This is for London,'” Abela wrote, quoting Winehouse. ‘”Cause Camden Town ain’t burnin down”. I love you, Amy.’

 

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A post shared by Marisa Abela (@marisaabela_)

The Trailer

Release Date

Back To Black will land in UK and Irish cinemas on 12 April 2024.

Featured image courtesy of StudioCanal UK.