Sam Taylor-Johnson is attached to direct Back to Black, an Amy Winehouse biopic. And we finally know who will star as the late, iconic singer.
Marisa Abela will play Winehouse with filming commencing in London on 16 January.
A relative newcomer, Abela starred in HBO’s Industry and will also appear in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie later this year, alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
A first image of Abela as Winehouse was also released and, we must say, she looks the part, sporting Winehouse’s signature large hair-do.
The film, which was announced in 2020 will cover the singer’s “vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to fame.” It will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Winehouse tragically died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 after a long battle with addiction.
Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary on the singer, Amy, was critically acclaimed, but Winehouse’s father has always been openly critical of it. Mitch Winehouse went on to appear in the BBC documentary Reclaiming Amy in 2021 instead.
Taylor-Johnson, best known as the director of Nowhere Boy and the first Fifty Shades of Grey film, spoke of her connection to Winehouse through their shared love of 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,” the director said in a press release.
“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.”
Studiocanal will distribute the film, which currently doesn’t have a release date, in the UK.