‘Back to Black’: The Amy Winehouse Biopic Will Be Directed by ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Director Sam Taylor-Johnson

The death of Amy Winehouse in 2011 rocked the world, and her presence continues to be felt in the music industry. Now, Winehouse’s life is getting the biopic treatment in a new film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the British director behind Fifty Shades of Grey. And unlike previous Winehouse-related projects, the biopic has the support of her family.

Amy Winehouse, who is the subject of a new biopic
Amy Winehouse | Chris Christoforou

Amy Winehouse will be the subject of a new biopic

Amy Winehouse was revered in the 2000s for her one-of-a-kind voice and unique approach to music. Her jazzy vocals and production became her signature, and countless musicians looked up to the London-bred crooner.

Even after she died in 2011, Winehouse was still the focal point of headlines everywhere. In 2015, her life was the subject of the documentary Amy, directed by Asif Kapadia. Winehouse’s family criticized the film, which portrayed her parents — specifically her father — in a negative light.

In 2021, however, her father Mitch Winehouse helped create the BBC documentary Reclaiming Amy commemorating the tenth anniversary of the singer’s death.

Amy Winehouse biopic will be directed by ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ director Sam Taylor-Johnson

Now, Winehouse’s life will be the subject of another film: a biopic titled Back to Black, named after her Grammy Award-winning final album. In July 2022, Variety reported that the Amy Winehouse biopic is in casting stages, and they’re looking for a relative newcomer to play the legendary singer. It’s also reportedly a passion project for Taylor-Johnson, a close friend of Winehouse.

Unlike the Amy documentary, Back to Black has the full support of her father, Mitch Winehouse.

Matt Greenhalgh will write the movie. He previously collaborated with Taylor-Johnson on her 2009 film Lonely Boy, which portrayed the early years of Beatles singer John Lennon. Greenhalgh also wrote Control, the acclaimed biopic about late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.

Lady Gaga was once rumored to play Amy Winehouse

The Winehouse estate first signed a deal for a movie back in 2018, and an Amy Winehouse biopic has been in the works for several years.

In 2018, rumors swirled that filmmakers would recruit Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga to play Winehouse on screen. However, Mitch Winehouse shot the rumors down, telling British tabloid The Sun that he was comfortable with his famous daughter being played by an unknown actor.

“I wouldn’t mind betting it would be an unknown, young, English — London, cockney — actress who looks a bit like Amy,” he said.

“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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