Back to Black: Production for Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Amy Winehouse biopic is about to kick off

Last Updated on July 4, 2023

marisa abela, amy winehouse, biopic, top contender

Cameras are about to roll on Back to Black, a biopic from STUDIOCANAL, Focus Features, and Monumental Pictures about Amy Winehouse‘s vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to fame. Sam Taylor-Johnson directs from a screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh, who previously worked with Taylor-Johnson on 2009’s Nowhere Boy. Marisa Abela (IndustryBarbieShe is Love) is stepping into the role of Amy Winehouse. Featuring many of Amy’s hit songs, Back to Black has the full support of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Publishing, and The Amy Winehouse Estate. Principal Photography for Back to Black kicks off on January 16, 2023.

Per the official press release for Back to Black:

Amy Winehouse is widely considered one of the greatest artists in recent history, selling more than 30 million records worldwide and generating more than 80 million monthly streams. Her acclaimed produced 2006 album, Back To Black, propelled her to global stardom, going on to win a (then) record-breaking 5 Grammy Awards, including Record Of The Year and Song of The Year for the single Rehab. Back to Black focuses on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity, and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and color of 90’s Camden High Street to global adoration – and back again, Back to Black crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.

“My connection to Amy began when I left college and was hanging out in the creatively diverse London borough of Camden,” said Sam Taylor-Johnson. “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. 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.”

“Amy Winehouse is the greatest musical talent of the 21st century so far,” said Producer Alison Owen. “But 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.”

Amy Winehouse is as memorable as they come with her sultry vocals, gospel-like qualities, and stunning stage presence. Back to Black looks to celebrate her life, talent, and legacy. Sadly, Winehouse passed away on July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning. Rather than focus on her end, Back to Black celebrates her humble beginnings and lasting influence on the music industry. Let’s do this! Let us know in the comments if you’re excited about Taylor-Johnson’s biopic.


About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.