A biopic detailing the life of the late Amy Winehouse is set to go ahead, with director Sam Taylor-Johnson now at the helm.
Entitled Back To Black, Johnson – known for her work on Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades Of Grey – will direct the film about the Camden singer. The script for the film will be written by Johnson’s Nowhere Boy cohort, Matt Greenhalgh. The film will be based on Daphne Barak’s book Saving Amy, and co-produced by Studiocanal, Alison Owen, Debra Hayward and Tracey Seaward.
Winehouse’s family first confirmed a multi-million-pound deal to make a biopic back in 2018, with Owen then slated to direct. Winehouse’s father, Mitch, later told NME the family were “very much looking forward” to a story introducing people to “the real Amy”.
Taylor-Johnson’s biopic reportedly has the support of Winehouse’s estate, including Mitch Winehouse, according to Variety. Last year Mitch Winehouse publicly said that the Back To Black biopic was “100 per cent not allowed”, claiming those behind the project hadn’t approached the family or his late daughter’s record label, Universal.
He reportedly told TMZ at the time: “They can’t be that stupid. Everyone knows proper licences must be granted.”
Mitch Winehouse appeared in the 2021 BBC television documentary Reclaiming Amy, released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the singer’s death, alongside his wife Janis. It followed the release of Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy, of which the Winehouse patriarch was openly critical.
Back To Black marks the second attempt to create a biopic surrounding Winehouse’s life, following an abandoned 2015 project (per Pitchfork) that was to star Noomi Rapace as Winehouse and to be directed by Irish filmmaker Kristen Sheridan. Mitch Winehouse has also stated in the past that he would “never allow” for Winehouse’s music to be licensed for a biopic.