Amy Winehouse biopic finally moves forward after years of delays as Sam Taylor-Johnson signs on to direct

Amy Winehouse‘s biopic is finally moving forward seven years after it was first announced to be in the works.

After difficulty getting the project off the ground, it has now been revealed that Sam Taylor-Johnson has signed on to spearhead the hotly-anticipated film project on the late singer’s life.

Deadline reports that the production company StudioCanal are hoping Sam, who made her feature film debut with 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, will 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.

After years of delays, the project is full steam ahead, with Matt Greenhalgh having already written the script with Alison Owen, Debra Hayward and Tracey Seaward serving as producers.

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?

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?

The casting is undoubtedly crucial to bringing the biopic to life. 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.

The actress is best known for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish adaptations of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and her role in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.

It’s unclear whether she is still playing the role or being considered for the role, as Deadline has reported that Taylor-Johnson will soon begin her search for the lead role of Winehouse in the next few weeks.

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”.

When will it be released?

There is no release date yet, and there may not be one for a while. We expect filming to begin next year, with the movie potentially set to release in 2024. Something to look forward to!