Industry actor pictured with singer’s trademark beehive, as Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Back to Black set to start shooting this month
First look … Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse.
Last year it was announced that Sam Taylor-Johnson would direct an Amy Winehouse biopic titled Back to Black. Now the first image has been released of Marisa Abela in the title role, wearing the late singer’s trademark black beehive and gold hoop earrings.
Back to Black will chronicle Winehouse’s time living in London in the early 00s and her rise to fame. The film was written by the Manchester-born screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, who wrote the script for Taylor-Johnson’s 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, and unlike the Oscar-winning 2015 documentary Amy, Back to Black has been authorised by the Amy Winehouse estate.
Taylor-Johnson said she is “fully aware of the responsibility” of directing the film and will endeavour to “create a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy.”
She said: “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 a ‘talent’, she was genius. As a film-maker you can’t really ask for more.”
Abela was born in Brighton in 1996, to parents who worked in the film industry. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her debut in 2020 as one of the leads in the BBC/HBO finance drama Industry.
Back to Black is being produced by Studiocanal, who will also distribute the film in the UK. It is set to start filming in London on 16 January.