BACK TO BLACK was written by Matt Greenhalgh, reuniting the scribe with Taylor-Johnson following their collaboration on Nowhere Boy in 2009. Featuring many of Amy’s hit songs, BACK TO BLACK has the full support of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Publishing and The Amy Winehouse Estate.
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Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks, Me Before You, Elizabeth), Debra Hayward (Les Miserables, Bridget Jones’s Baby) of Monumental Pictures are producing, Nicky Kentish-Barnes (What’s Love Got To Do With it?, Everest) executive produces, with Nina Gold leading the casting of the film. EVP Global Production Ron Halpern and SVP Global Production Joe Naftalin executive produce and are overseeing for STUDIOCANAL.
Why is Amy Winehouse so famous?
Amy Winehouse was one of the most successful and acclaimed musicians of her generation. She released her debut album, Frank, in 2003 to critical acclaim. The following year, she released her second album, Back to Black, which was an even bigger success. It topped the charts in several countries and won five Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.Winehouse’s success was due in part to her unique style, which blended elements of soul, jazz, and pop.
Her voice was also distinctive, with a deep, husky quality that set her apart from other female singers. But Winehouse’s fame was also due to her personal life, which was often tumultuous. She struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years, and her marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil was marked by violence and infidelity. Winehouse’s struggles were well-publicized, and they added to her legend.Amy Winehouse tragically died of accidental alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27. Her death came as a shock to fans all over the world, and only served to cement her status as one of the most iconic musicians of her generation.
Amy Winehouse is widely considered one of the greatest artists in recent history, selling more than 30 million records worldwide, and today generating more than 80 million streams per month. Her acclaimed produced 2006 album Back To Black, propelled her to global stardom, going on to win a (then) record breaking 5 Grammy Awards, including Record Of The Year and Song of The Year for hit single Rehab.
BACK TO BLACK will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of 90’s Camden High Street to global adoration – and back again, BACK TO BLACK crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.
Director Sam Taylor-Johnson comments: My connection to Amy began when I left college and was hanging out in the creatively diverse London borough of Camden. I got a job at the legendary KOKO CLUB, and I can still breathe every market stall, vintage shop and street… A few years later Amy wrote her searingly honest songs whilst living in Camden. Like with me, it became part of her DNA. I first saw her perform at a talent show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho and it was immediately obvious she wasn’t just ’talent’… she was genius. As a filmmaker you can’t really ask for more. I feel excited and humbled to have this opportunity to realise Amy’s beautifully unique and tragic story to cinema accompanied by the most important part of her legacy – her music. I am fully aware of the responsibility, with my writing collaborator – Matt Greenhalgh – I will create a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy.”
Producer Alison Owen expands: “Amy Winehouse is the greatest musical talent of the 21st century so far. But like so many female icons, the tragedy of her death has seemed to obscure the triumph of her talent…the fun of the noughties, the craziness of Camden, her youth and brilliance – we want to reclaim that for her, with this film.”
The Amy Winehouse Estate added: “We are thrilled that STUDIOCANAL, Focus Features and Monumental are making this movie celebrating our daughter Amy’s extraordinary music legacy and showcasing her talent in the way that it deserves.”
Said Kiska Higgs, President of Production & Acquisitions at Focus, “In Sam Taylor-Johnson’s exquisitely moving portrait of an artist, the genius, the heart, the energy and the woman behind the icon we all know as Amy Winehouse promise to shine through as she deserves. We can’t wait to travel through Amy’s world and hear her voice through the wonderful Marisa Abela, and are looking forward to reuniting with Sam and our friends at Monumental and STUDIOCANAL.”