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Nick Cave Scoring Amy Winehouse Biopic ‘Back to Black’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sam Taylor-Johnson’s upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” may have access to the late singer’s globally recognized back catalog, but another legendary musician is lending his talents to the project.

Nick Cave, alongside his long-time collaborator Warren Ellis, is scoring the StudioCanal and Focus Features film, which sees “Industry” star Marisa Abela play Winehouse. Abela is joined by a cast including Jack O’Connell (playing Blake Fielder-Civil), Eddie Marsan (Mitch Winehouse), Juliet Cowan (Janis Winehouse) and Lesley Manville (Amy’s grandmother, Cynthia).

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Variety has been given an exclusive photo taken of Cave, Ellis and Taylor-Johnson recording in the studio earlier this week.

While Winehouse’s own songs, such as “Back to Black” (which featured in the recent trailer), “Valerie” and “Rehab” will undoubtedly take center stage in the film (with most recorded and performed by Abela), Cave and Ellis are understood to have composed about 20-30 minutes of music.

“Nick and Warren were the only musicians in my mind to score ‘Back to Black,'” Taylor-Johnson said. “Over the years, I’ve listened to everything they’ve composed and longed to realize the dream of working together. Their sensibility as well as understanding of this story has led to a profoundly deep and moving film score.”

The pair’s creative chemistry is rooted in their long history of music making, both as collaborators and as individual artists. They first crossed paths in 1993, when Ellis played violin on several songs for the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album “Let Love In” before joining the band as a full time member for the following 10 albums. The two have also recorded as Grinderman, formed in 2006, and have composed numerous, film, TV and theater soundtracks together including “The Proposition,” “Lawless,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” The Road,” “Hell or High Water” and “Dahmer.”

The two most recently composed the soundtrack to Andrew Dominik’s 2022 Marilyn Monroe biopic “Blonde” (Dominik directed the Cave documentaries “One More Time With Feeling” and “This Much I Know to Be True”). However, “Back to Black” marks Cave’s first cinematic collaboration with his friend Taylor-Johnson (who asked him to contribute text to her 2015 book “Still Lives”).

The film, which reunites Taylor-Johnson with her “Nowhere Boy” screenwriter Matt Greenhaigh, is being produced by Alison Owen (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “Me Before You”) and Debra Hayward (“Les Miserables,” “Bridget Jones’s Baby”) of Monumental Pictures, alongside Nicky Kentish-Barnes (“About Time,” “Everest”). Taylor-Johnson is executive producer, alongside StudioCanal CEO Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern and Joe Naftalin.

StudioCanal is releasing “Back to Black” in the U.K. on April 12, with Focus Features following in the U.S. on May 17.

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