Things You Did Not Know About The New Amy Winehouse Biopic

By Juliet Smith 1 year ago

The film surprisingly has backing from her family, estate and record label

Image Source/ The Times of Israel
It's heard that Amy Winehouse's own family and record label are happy for the biopic, Back to Black, to go ahead. Apparently, there have been numerous attempts to create a screen-adaptation of Winehouse's life in the past, but they didn't take off due to music licensing issues.

Her friends are yet to be convinced though...

Image Source/ The Guardian
While Winehouse's family are happy for the film to hit cinemas, her friends and her fans are a little bit more skeptical of the idea. No doubt, they fear that the film will do Winehouse an injustice, painting her inaccurately or even defamatory... we will have to see.

Winehouse's friend is taking the lead behind the camera

Image Source/ Latestly
It seems that the filmmakers are ready to delve deep into Winehouse's life, even recruiting one of Winehouse's friends Sam Taylor-Johnson as the director of the film. This can only mean that the depiction of Winehouse we are going to see will be very accurate.

The director also directed 50 Shades of Grey

Image Source/ Marie Claire UK
It appears that Sam Taylor-Johnson is going off the beaten path with taking on the biopic of Winehouse. She most notably directed 50 Shades of Grey, a film that garnered a wide array of mixed reviews. However, she hopes to do the film justice and is excited to tackle the task.

We will get to see Winehouse's 'intense journey to fame'

Image Source/ Gigwise
It's no surprise to hear that Winehouse didn't have the smoothest ride when it comes to being successful and famous. In fact, most of us probably remember that she had many run-ins with press and photographers, and battled dark demons. Well, according to the official blurb of the film it will showcase Winehouse's 'vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to fame.'

Back to Black writer Matt Greenhalgh has written for some massive stars in the past

Image Source/ Screen Daily
Taylor-Johnson is joined by fantastic screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, who has an extensive CV of writing biopics for deceased celebrities. Greenhalgh was the mastermind behind the story of John Lennon, Nowhere Boy, and Ian Curtis, Control. It seems that he is more than capable of tackling the job for Winehouse.

The film is being headlined by a recognizable BBC star

Image Source/ Daily Mail
Those of you that are obsessed with UK BBC dramas might recognize the face of the actor behind Winehouse... Marisa Abela. Abela did a fantastic job at portraying Yasmin in the BBC drama Industry, a fantastic and shocking depiction of the stocks and trades industry in London.

The talented Lady Gaga was rumored to play icon Amy Winehouse

Image Source/ Metro
Before the casting directors decided that Abela would play the best Amy Winehouse, there were rumors circulating the internet that Lady Gaga was actually being considered in the running. Admittedly, her facial features do resemble that of Winehouse, however, the filmmakers were keen to get their hands on a newcomer.

Marisa Abela was forced to undergo the intense Amy Boot Camp

Image Source/ Just Jared
While Abela might be an established actor herself, it doesn't mean that she gets an easy pass into becoming Winehouse. On the Beyond the Lights podcast, Abela admitted that she has had to endure guitar lessons, fitness training and vocal coaches to mimic Winehouse's singing voice and North London accent.

The shooting period for Back to Black is expected to be a short one

Image Source/ Harper's Bazaar
It's heard that Back to Black began filming on January 16th, and that the actual shooting period of the cinematic memoir will be relatively short. This is quite understandable, as biopics are often gritty, raw imitations of celebrities' lives, relying more on writing and acting than special effects or CGI.

The trailer might be released later this year...

Image Source/ Daily Mail 
Don't get your hopes up too high though. According to Time Out, even though the shooting period is short, we shouldn't expect a trailer until much later this year at the very earliest. Let's just hope that the film turns out to be worth the long wait.

Although the film probably won't be released until much later!

Image Source/ The Playlist
It takes a long time to write, film and produce a film, that's for certain, and it appears that the Back to Black film probably won't be released until 2024. It's to be released by two major motion picture companies, Universal and Focus Features, so we can expect a feature film with a major budget.

Unlike the first time round, Winehouse's dad is pleased with the casting choice of Winehouse

Image Source/ Daily Mail
For those Winehouse mega fans out there, you might remember Asif Kapadia's 2015 documentary, Amy, which showed Mitch Winehouse in a relatively negative light. He was riled by the performance, but thinks that Abela is a great choice in playing his daughter on screen.

Is it too soon to bring out a Winehouse biopic? Well, some think it is...

Image Source/ Tolga Akmen / AFP
There's been a substantial amount of backlash surrounding the film's filming and release, with a lot of friends and fans criticizing the filmmakers for bringing out the biopic too soon after Winehouse's death. They think it hasn't been long enough to sensitively interpret her life.

Some fans don't think Abela is deserving of the role

Image Source/ Time Out
With friends and family expressing their distaste about the dramatized version of Winehouse's life, it's no surprise that they're also unhappy with the casting choice too. Apparently, fans don't think that Abela should play the role due to her lack of resemblance to Winehouse... which shouldn't really matter too much!

Abela has one pivotal striking similarity to Winehouse

Image Source/ Far Out Magazine
The casting directors were eager to get Abela on board given her Jewish heritage, which Winehouse also had. They felt that the decision was important to authenticate Winehouse's own background, a part of Winehouse that might not have seemed integral, but definitely played a part in her character.

The film is actually named after Winehouse's most impressive album

Image Source/ OFuxico
Back to Black was the second (and sadly final) record album released by Winehouse in 2006. After her untimely death, the album actually became the bestselling album of the 21st century, an incredible achievement. It just goes to show the effect that Winehouse's music had on her fans.

Abela is joined on set by one famous Skins star

Image Source/ The Mirror
Those that have watched Skins will recognize Jack O'Connell immediately, the cheeky, chirpy actor that portrayed the equally cheeky and devilish character Cook in the UK-based teen drama. He will join Abela as Winehouse's on-screen husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

The biopic might be missing a few crucial details...

Image Source/ NME
As opposed to Kapadia's 2015 documentary, which didn't shy away from the controversies surrounding Mitch Winehouse, the biopic is expected not to include the same sensitive portrayal of Winehouse an her father's relationship. It is thought that she received a lot of pressure from her father, even mentioned in her song Rehab: 'If my daddy thinks I'm fine..."

The film has been in development for five years...

Image Source/ Slash Film
It might seem crazy that the film has been in development for five years despite only just starting filming, but there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of such an important and sensitive production. Research, casting, writing are just a few, not to mention getting that seal of approval from Winehouse's estate.

The film will cover most of Winehouse's turbulent life

Image Source/ Daily Mail
It can be hard to gauge how much of someone's life a film can actually cover, but it seems that Back to Black will be an ambitious cinematic reenactment of a lot of her life. While the script has been kept under wraps, it's clear that it will cover more than just the making of her second album, with Chris Taylor being a key character, who was only in Winehouse's life in 2003.

The film will make proper use of Winehouse's impressive discography

Image Source/ NME
With films like Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody, it's clear that biopics of musicians' lives rely heavily on the music they produced. Given that Back to Black was approved by Winehouse's estate, it's clear that the music will play a key feature of the film.

Will the film touch upon Winehouse's complex sexuality?

Image Source/ Glamour
Back in 2021, Winehouse's mother Janis released a BBC documentary about all things Amy Winehouse. Voice-overed by Janis herself, she spoke of an intense relationship between Winehouse and three of her friends, which was more than platonic with friend Catriona. At present, it's hard to know whether the film will touch upon this delicate subject!

The film should be received better than Kapadia's rendition of Amy

Image Source/ Medium
It's safe to say that the previous documentary surrounding Winehouse's life back in 2015 wasn't received too well. While it had critical acclaim, with a rotten tomatoes score of 95%, as we already know her family didn't take too well to the 'basic untruths'. It's clear that her family will admire this production much more.

Prior films have paved the way for Back to Black to take off at the Box Office

Image Source/ Variety
In the past few years, more and more biopics have been released that have told the complex and, sometimes, devastating stories of major musicians, such as Elton John's Rocketman, Freddie Mercury's Bohemian Rhapsody or Presley's Elvis, all of which have done incredibly well. It's clear that this only gives the film more anticipation.

The film has some sensitive topics to tackle and needs to do it right

Image Source/ SheKnows
A fact you may not have known about Winehouse is that she suffered from an eating disorder, bulimia. Her friends have spoken how her problems with food escalated after the death of her Nan and success of her second studio album. If the film is to include these topics, it must do so sensitively.

The make-up artist has a big job to fulfill

Image Source/ The List
When we think of Amy Winehouse, we think of her exaggerated beehive and iconic winged eyeliner. Well, it's clear that the hair stylist and make-up artist have their work cut out for them on set of Back to Black, as these two major parts are crucial in making the film authentic.

We probably won't get to see everything we want to

Image Source/ The Guardian
Given that the film will probably only have a run time of 1-2 hours, it'll be difficult for them to cover everything that happened in Winehouse's life, so ultimately the filmmakers have a job on their hands trying to choose what is screen worthy, and what not.

The movie could change the way we see Winehouse forever

Image Source/ Pinterest
The movie will probably shed a brand new, never-before-seen light on the life of Winehouse. While she was alive, she experienced negative portrayals by the media, and often had run-ins and spats with paparazzi. Well, hopefully, the film is ready to give us a more intimate, objective view of Winehouse.

The film has the potential to change biopic cinema indefinitely

Image Source/ The Mirror
Like it's predecessors, Back to Black has a lot weighing on its shoulders and, if done well, could pave the way for more biopics to be released. By casting a lesser-known actor in the role of Winehouse, they are allowing for future films to also do the same, as the talent can often be more convincing than that of a widely-known figure.

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