The Back To Black trailer reveals the first look at the Amy Winehouse biopic

Marisa Abela transforms into the late star.
back to black

The first trailer for the Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black has finally dropped, giving us our best look yet at hotly-anticipated movie.

The short teaser sees Industry's Marisa Abela transform into Amy, set to her classic song ‘Back to Black’. There's also brief glimpses of Jack O'Connell as Blake Fielder, who was married to Amy between 2007 and 2009, and Eddie Marsan as Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse.

It comes after the first-look image was released last January, around the same time production kicked off, showing Abela sporting the late singer's signature beehive hairdo, chunky gold hoop earrings and tattoos.

Studio Canal UK

The project, which was first announced in 2015, has been a long-time coming, and now has director Sam Taylor-Johnson at the helm.

At the time, Deadline reported that the production company StudioCanal were hoping that Taylor-Johnson would bring the celebrated career and tragically short life of the star to life in the biopic entitled, Back To Black, the same name as Amy's breakthrough album in 2006. Taylor-Johnson will also reunite with writer Matt Greenhalgh, who she worked with on the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.

If Asif Kapadia's documentary Amy won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature back in 2016, we have high hopes for the new biopic based on the Valerie singer. So what exactly can we expect from the Back to Black biopic?

What is the plot of Back To Black?

The film's official synopsis states that Back To Black “will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of ‘90s Camden High Street to global adoration  – and back again”. It's added that the biopic hopes to “[crash] through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.”

From her early years in the industry working as a jazz singer in north London to her rise as a global Grammy-award-winning music superstar, the film is set to take a look at the life and music of Amy. In 2008, she earned a then-record five awards, including the Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year, at the 50th GRAMMY Awards, which undoubtedly showcased the global appeal of her music.

However, Amy long struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. Tragically she passed away in 2011 at the age of 27 from alcohol poisoning.

Why has it taken so long to get the biopic off the ground?

Initially, the biopic was set to go ahead with Lotus Entertainment in 2015, with Kristen Sheridan set to direct and write the screenplay. However, it never moved forward.

In October 2018, it was announced that Amy's family had signed a deal with Monumental Pictures for the biopic, with Kinky Boots writer Geoff Deane slated to write the script. That, too, saw difficulty with moving forward, and now four years later, the project has moved to StudioCanal, with Taylor-Johnson hoping to bring the project to the big screen finally.

Where do we know director Sam Taylor-Johnson from?

The biopic is in good hands with British director Sam. Following her feature film debut in Fifty Shades of Grey, she also directed A Million Little Pieces and two episodes of Amazon's Solos.

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Who will play the role of Amy Winehouse in the biopic?

It was announced that Marisa Abela would take on the role of Amy back in January 2023. In honour of the announcement, Marisa took to Instagram with a snap of herself posing in front of an Amy mural, with the caption: "And for London. This is for London. Cause Camden Town ain’t burnin down. I love you, Amy. ❤️."

Rising star Marisa has previously starred in BBC Two series Industry and Sky One's drama COBRA.

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The casting for the film was a hot topic fora long time. Back in 2015, when the film was initially with Lotus Entertainment, it was reported that Swedish actress Noomi Rapace had signed on to play the role.

What do Amy's family think of the new biopic?

The new biopic is said to be going ahead with the "full support" of Winehouse's estate. This starkly contrasts their reaction to Asif Kapadia's documentary, Amy. Though critically acclaimed, the film attracted controversy, with Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse, claiming the portrayal of him and Amy "is both misleading and contains some basic untruths".

Amy's family will also serve as executive producers on the film, alongside Nicky Kentish-Barnes, Ron Halpern and Joe Naftalin.

When will it be released?

Back to Black will be released in cinemas on April 12th.

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