"I will create a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy," says director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
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Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in director Sam Taylor-Johnson's BACK TO BLACK

Back to Black (movie)

It's time for us to go Back to Black as a new film will explore the life of late singer Amy Winehouse.

Marisa Abela, a breakout star of HBO's Industry series, transforms into the "Rehab" and "Valerie" artist, as seen in a first-look photo of the actress in character.

The sneak peek arrives Friday as Focus Features and StudioCanal announce filming on Back to Black, named for Winehouse's 2006 album and single, will begin on Monday in London.

Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in director Sam Taylor-Johnson's BACK TO BLACK
See Marisa Abela transform into Amy Winehouse.
| Credit: Focus Features

Back to Black is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey, A Million Little Pieces) and will chronicle Winehouse's "vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to fame," according to a press release.

Scribe Matt Greenhalgh, who wrote the Taylor-Johnson-directed Nowhere Boy, penned the script.

"My connection to Amy began when I left college and was hanging out in the creatively diverse London borough of Camden," Taylor-Johnson says in a statement. "I got a job at the legendary KOKO club, and I can still breathe every market stall, vintage shop, and street… A few years later Amy wrote her searingly honest songs whilst living in 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 continues. "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 Marisa Abela and Amy Winehouse
Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in 'Back to Black.'
| Credit: Jem Mitchell; Everett Collection

Back to Black comes with the blessing of the Winehouse estate, which released the following statement: "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."

Winehouse was thrust into the limelight at an early age with albums Frank and Back to Black, which gave us hits like "Stronger Than Me," "Take the Box," and the titular "Back to Black." Her life, however, was marked by tragedy. Winehouse was found dead in her London home from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 in 2011. 2015 saw the release of Amy, a documentary exploring the promising performer's ups and downs.

Alison Owen, a producer on Back to Black, comments, "Like so many female icons, the tragedy of her death has seemed to obscure the triumph of her talent… the fun of the noughties, the craziness of Camden, her youth and brilliance — we want to reclaim that for her, with this film."

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Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in director Sam Taylor-Johnson's BACK TO BLACK
Back to Black (movie)

Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in the story of the late Grammy winner's rise to stardom and intense battle with substance abuse.

 

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