The director of upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black has revealed that her family had “no involvement” in the film.
Named after Winehouse’s breakout sophomore – and final – studio album, the film will star Industry’s Marisa Abela as Winehouse herself, and outlines her years living in London, alongside her rapid rise to fame.
Speaking in a new interview with Empire, director Sam Taylor-Johnson said Winehouse’s family didn’t contribute to the film.
She added: “It was important to meet with them out of respect. But they have no involvement in terms of… like, they couldn’t change things. They couldn’t dictate how I was to shoot. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Despite that, the director did that confirm that Winehouse’s father Mitch has seen the biopic.
“I know he saw the film. I wasn’t there. I haven’t spoken to him. I think he keeps his feelings pretty much to himself. The important thing for me was not to have any of that noise in my sphere while making the film,” said Taylor-Johnson.
“And I didn’t need the family’s approval. All the music rights were approved by Universal and Sony. So what I wanted as much as possible was the truth of Amy, and Amy’s relationship was that she loved her dad, whether we think he did right or wrong.”
Writer Matt Greenhalgh, who previously collaborated with Taylor-Johnson on Nowhere Boy, said the film wanted to tell the story from the singer’s perspective, using her lyrics.
He said: “It’s a creative film. I know a lot of people still can’t understand that, still can’t get their head around it. It’s my take on Amy’s life and then it’s Sam’s take on Amy’s life. And then it’s Marisa and Jack [O’Connell]’s take on Amy and Blake. In the end, it’s all subjective, but you hope that opinion is accepted and embraced by your audience.”
Despite that, Winehouse’s parents previously approved of the film and said in a statement: “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.”
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film has been confirmed for release in the UK on April 12, 2024 and on April 11 across Australia.
Meanwhile, it was recently confirmed to feature music from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.