Focus Features releases a first look at Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in “Back to Black.”
Focus Features has acquired “Back to Black,” the upcoming biopic of the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, releasing a first-look image from the film featuring actress Marisa Abela as Winehouse. Studiocanal announced it had partnered with Focus Features and Monumental Pictures to make the music drama a reality. Sam Taylor-Johnson, known for “50 Shades of Gray” and her directorial debut “Nowhere Boy,” is directing the film.
The film will follow Winehouse’s rise to fame through her 2006 album, Back to Black, before her death in 2011 from alcohol poisoning. The biopic was initially announced in July, while multiple films about Winehouse’s career have been in development since 2011. In 2015, the documentary about her life, “Amy,” won Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.
In July, Variety announced that Marisa Abela had emerged as the frontrunner to play Winehouse in “Back to Black.” Abela is best known for her role as Yasmin Kara-Hanani in HBO’s “Industry,” which began its second season last year. The British actor’s other credits include the Sky TV series “COBRA,” and the films “Rogue Agent” and “She Is Love.”
“Back to Black” is developed from a script by “Nowhere Boy” screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh and will feature many of Amy Winehouse’s most well-known songs with the support of her estate, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing. Greenhalgh and Taylor-Johnson last worked together on “Nowhere Boy,” a biopic about the childhood of John Lennon, proving that the two are already familiar with creating a feature film around the life of a music icon.
Focus Features will distribute the film in the United States, while Studiocanal will handle distribution in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux, Scandinavia, and Poland. Universal Pictures International will handle international distribution on a broader scale. Filming is due to begin in London on January 16.