A biopic about Amy Winehouse is in the works, helmed by “Nowhere Boy” director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
European studio Studiocanal is backing the film, which has been tightly under wraps. Variety understands that a script for the movie has begun circulating and is now in casting stages. It’s believed Taylor-Johnson hopes to cast a relative newcomer for the part of Winehouse.
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The film is believed to be very much a passion project for Taylor-Johnson, who was a close friend of Winehouse’s.
Interestingly, “Back to Black” has the full support of Mitch Winehouse, the late singer’s father, who was portrayed in a negative light in the Oscar-winning documentary “Amy.” Mitch Winehouse also participated in the 2021 BBC documentary “Reclaiming Amy,” which marked the 10-year anniversary of Amy’s death.
“Back to Black” has been written by Matt Greenhalgh, who previously collaborated with Taylor-Johnson on “Nowhere Boy” and also wrote “Control,” the critically acclaimed biopic about the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Studiocanal is producing with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward alongside Tracey Seaward.
Winehouse, best known for hit songs such as “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good,” died at 27 of alcohol poisoning in 2011. She produced two albums, “Frank” and “Back to Black,” the latter of which earned her six Grammy awards.
A biopic about her life has been in the works for a number of years, with Owen and Hayward attached from the very beginning. The Winehouse estate first signed a deal for the movie back in 2018, though an earlier script was originally penned by “Kinky Boots” writer Geoff Deane.
Back in 2018, Winehouse denied suggestions that Lady Gaga might sign on to play the troubled singer. “I wouldn’t mind betting it would be an unknown, young, English — London, cockney — actress who looks a bit like Amy,” he told British tabloid The Sun at the time.
“What we want is somebody to portray Amy in the way that she was…the funny, brilliant, charming and horrible person that she was. There’s no point really me making the film because I’m her dad. But to get the right people to do it, that’s very important, and we will.”
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