Sam Taylor-Johnson is set to direct an upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic. Deadline reports that Studiocanal with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward alongside Tracey Seaward will be producing the film, currently titled Back to Black. The upcoming film will follow the life of Grammy-winning Winehouse, whose battle with alcohol and drugs led to her tragic death in 2011 when she was just 27 years old. Taylor-Johnson and the film’s producers will be casting the film in the upcoming weeks.
The film’s script has been written by Matt Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh and Taylor-Johnson previously collaborated on Taylor-Johnson’s directorial debut, Nowhere Boy, the biographical film about John Lennon. Back to Black is being created with full support from the Amy Winehouse estate. While Noomi Rapace and Tania Raymonde have previously been linked to star in Winehouse biopics, Back to Black is the first to enter production stages.
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Before becoming a global music star, Winehouse began her career as North London jazz singer. Winehouse became a global breakout star with the release of her second studio album Back to Black in 2006. The album featured many hit songs, including Back to Black, Rehab, and You Know I’m No Good. The record received many accolades and earned five Grammy Awards.
Taylor-Johnson is best known for her work on the first film of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. She recently worked on the Amazon series Solos, an anthology exploring what it means to be human. She is now in the pre-production stage for Rothko, starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Russell Crowe.
Amy in Film
In 2015, A24 released the documentary Amy. Directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by James Gay-Rees, the film relied on more than 100 interviews with Winehouse’s family and friends to provide an intimate look into the singer’s life. Kapadia also used unseen footage and unheard tracks that the singer had previously recorded. The documentary premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, during the Midnight Screenings section.
Although the film garnered many positive reviews and was the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse, spoke out about the film. Upset about how the film was portraying him in a “negative” light, he told The Guardian in 2015 that Amy portrayed him as “greedy and uncaring.”
In 2018, BBC Four broadcast Amy Winehouse: Back to Black, a 2018 documentary film about Winehouse and the making of her album Back to Black. In 2021, BBC Two aired Reclaiming Amy, a documentary marking 10th anniversary of the singer’s death, featuring interviews with her mother and friends.