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Amy Winehouse fans are absolutely not having the new biopic about her

Sam Taylor-Wood’s ‘Back to Black’ is taking flak online

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

A new Amy Winehouse biopic has been announced, but you’d have to travel deep into social media to find anyone with a positive word to say about the idea of dramatising her life. It’s safe to say that Winehouse’s fans and keepers of her torch are yet to be convinced.

The long-planned movie about the singer’s life is being directed by 50 Shades of Grey’s Sam Taylor-Wood and comes with the approval of Winehouse’s family – including her controversial father Mitch.

The initial responses have ranged from entertainingly snarky to plain pissed-off, with posters expressing concern over the possible exploitation of Winehouse’s memory and legacy. 

Back to Black will chart the Grammy-winner superstar’s rise to stardom, as well as her struggles with addiction, frequent run-ins with the tabloid press, and ultimately, her death from alcohol poisoning in 2011, aged just 27.

The Winehouse estate is reported to have signed a deal for the film back in 2018, which sparks questions over Mitch Winehouse possibly exercising creative control over his depiction in the film. He was famously riled by his negative portrayal in Asif Kapadia’s 2015 doc, Amy.

Will this be another Bohemian Rhapsody, smoothed out and sanitised by family members eager to be portrayed in a positive light? 

The Back to Black script comes from Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, who has plenty of previous when it comes to penning biopics.

On Greenhalgh’s CV are Nowhere Boy (about John Lennon), The Look of Love (strip-club owner Paul Raymond), Control (Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis) and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (fading Hollywood star Gloria Grahame).

But with so much yet to be locked down and confirmed – the casting of Winehouse herself is still TBC – fan opinion could yet soften. 

And who knows? Maybe Taylor-Wood’s own partner Aaron Taylor-Johnson could bring his substantial acting chops as the singer’s bad-boy boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil.

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