Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) with a script by Matt Greenhalgh, Back to black traces Winehouse’s “spirited years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to stardom.” The film has the full support of Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse, and features songs from his catalog.
“My connection with Amy started when I left college and hung out in the various creative London boroughs of Camden. I worked at the legendary KOKO CLUB, and I can still breathe in every market stall, vintage shop and street,” said Johnson in a statement. “A few years later Amy wrote her honest songs while living in Camden. Like me, it became part of her DNA.
“I first saw him perform at a talent show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho and it was immediately clear that he wasn’t just ‘talent’… he was a genius. As a filmmaker you really can’t ask for more. I feel excited and humbled to have this opportunity to realize Amy’s beautiful unique and tragic story in cinema accompanied by the most important part of her legacy – her music. I am fully aware of the responsibility, together with my writing partner – Matt Greenhalgh – I will make a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like Amy and I did.”
Abela is known for her roles in television series Industry and COBRA.
Mitch Winehouse is in denial about casting a relatively unknown actress to play his daughter. “I don’t mind betting that it’s an unknown, young, English – London, cockney – actress who looks a bit like Amy,” he said in 2018, adding, “What we want is someone to portray said Amy in a way. that she was… the funny, bright, charming and awesome person she was.”
Back to black will be distributed in the US by Focus Features.