It seems everywhere we look these days a music biopic lay waiting in the wings. We have had not one, but two, Elvis Presley biopics out in theatres, and Julia Garner has been tapped for the role of an onscreen Madonna. Of course there was Rami Malek's Best Actor-winning performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and who could forget the endearing Taron Egerton as larger-than-life Elton John in the musical biopic Rocket Man.
The only difference here is, the subject of a new film project by director Sam Taylor-Johnson has received the Hollywood treatment once before. In fact, in the past decade since Amy Winehouse – the queen of ballet flats and beehives – tragically died, there has been a handful of studios attempting (and failing) to dig into the artist's life. With the Oscar-winning documentary Amy from A24, being the only that's succeeded.
What is Back to Black about?
The new film, titled Back to Black, is set to cinematically reimagine Amy Winehouse's swift rise to fame and the turbulent years that followed, up until her death from alcohol poisoning in 2011. However, according to Deadline, her music and many achievements will be focused on over the darker subjects covered in 2015 documentary Amy.
The best thing about Back to Black is that Sam Taylor-Johnson, who was a close friend of Amy's, sought out and received permission from the musician's estate (i.e. her father Mitch) before making the film.
Who is in the cast of Back to Black?
After a lengthy audition process that saw a few names picked then dropped from the role, British actor Marisa Abela was chosen to play the vivacious Amy.
Abela is known best for playing Yasmin in Industry and her minor role in Greta Gerwig's Barbie is a relative newcomer – a purposeful choice from the studio who wanted to avoid a big name. Preferably, a "relative newcomer" explained Sam Taylor-Johnson, or as Winehouse's father Mitch put it, "an unknown, young, English—London, cockney—actress who looks a bit like Amy".
When will Back to Black be released?
Back to Black is set to be released in the UK and Poland on 12 April 2024, and in Germany, The Netherlands and Australia on 18 April 2024. A US release date is yet to be announced.