Celebrity biopics have always been a controversial topic, and the story of Amy Winehouse, which is coming in the shape of Back To Black, is no exception.
Whether you dispute the fictionalisation of the 'Valerie' singer's life or are all for it, it's coming. So with that in mind, here's everything you need to know about Back To Black, from expected release date to casting news and first look pics.
What parts of Amy Winehouse's life will Back To Black cover?
We all know Amy Winehouse, if not for her soulful and memorable musical impact, then perhaps for her now iconic image: sky-high beehive hair, tattoo clad arms, and thickly-laid eyeliner flicks.
One of the production companies for the film, Focus Features, has said:
"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 90’s 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."
It would be safe to assume that the film will portray not only the humble beginnings and the rise of the singer, but also the development of her two albums, and likely her struggles and tragic death shortly thereafter.
The singer became a musical sensation after becoming a household name from the release of her debut album Frank in 2003, followed by her Grammy winning follow-up Back to Black in 2006. The smoky-voiced singer skyrocketed to fame and quickly became a prominent figure in pop culture of the time.
Sadly, Winehouse began to show signs of addiction and erratic behaviour. Paired with a dramatic weight loss and performances in which the singer seemed intoxicated and incoherent, she was the subject of scrutiny in 2008 when images were leaked that seemed to show Winehouse taking illegal substances.
Because of this, she was unable to attend the 2008 Grammy Awards where she was set to perform, and instead had to perform in London and livestream into the awards show. It was here that she won five Grammy awards, including Best Song for 'Rehab'.
On 23rd July 2011, she tragically passed away at the age of 27 from alcohol poisoning.
Who is starring in Back to Black?
It's a tall order to find someone who can emanate the charisma and raw talent that Winehouse had. But the Back to Black creative team have found their Amy in Marisa Abela, who fans might recognise from HBO's Industry. Since then, first images of Marisa as Amy have already been released.
This casting decision was for two reasons: One being that the creatives wanted a newcomer to play the role, and the other being was that they wanted to cast someone who would be in keeping with Winehouse's Jewish heritage.
The film will also be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is known for directing Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey. Back to Black is clearly a project that Taylor-Johnson has been keen to take part in for a while now, given her affinity for the singer.
"As a filmmaker you can’t really ask for more," Taylor-Johnson said. "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.”
How authentic will Back to Black be?
As it stands, the film has been approved by The Amy Winehouse Estate, her family, and has been discussed in a statement by them saying: “We are thrilled that Studiocanal, Focus Features and Monumental are making this movie celebrating our daughter Amy’s extraordinary music legacy and showcasing her talent in the way that it deserves.”
Because of this, her original music will be used in the film. (It would hardly be an Amy Winehouse film with it, right?) However, whether Marisa Abela will be using her own singing to imitate the singer's husky, jazz-leaning voice is yet to be confirmed.
When will Back to Black come out?
With the film still in production, we might be waiting a while to get a trailer for the biopic, let alone an official date, though it's looking likely for a 2024 release.
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