Marisa Abela has transformed into Amy Winehouse for biopic “Back to Black.”
The first fictionalized look at late singer Winehouse’s life, the film is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by “Nowhere Boy” scribe Matt Greenhalgh. “Industry” breakout Abela stars as Winehouse, with Jack O’Connell playing her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan portraying Winehouse’s father Mitch Winehouse, and Lesley Manville as her maternal grandmother.
The official synopsis reads: “‘Back to Black’ [is] a never-before-seen glimpse into Amy Winehouse’s early rise to fame and the release of her groundbreaking 2006 studio album, ‘Back to Black.’ Told from Amy’s perspective, the film is an unapologetic look at the woman behind the phenomenon and the relationship that inspired one of the most legendary albums of all time.”
Winehouse sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and today is generating more than 80 million streams per month. The Grammy-winning singer won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for hit single “Rehab” before dying at age 27 in 2011.
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.
The film was announced in July 2022 and landed at Focus Features in January 2023, shortly before production began in London.
“She wasn’t just ‘talent,’ she was genius,” director Taylor-Johnson said of Winehouse. “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.”
“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.
“Back to Black” premieres May 10 in U.S. theaters. The film will open in the UK April 12, with Universal Pictures International handling international distribution outside of Studio Canal territories. Check out the trailer below.