Mark Ronson has shared his thoughts on the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the film stars Marisa Abela (Industry) as Winehouse and charts the iconic singer’s vibrant years living in London, as well as her intense rise to fame. It is due to be released in the UK and Ireland on April 12, 2024.
The movie, which has been approved by the late artist’s estate, features many of Winehouse’s hit songs, recorded and performed by Abela. An official trailer for Back To Black arrived last week.
Winehouse’s friend and collaborator Ronson – who produced her seminal second album, 2006’s ‘Back To Black’ – spoke about the biopic at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday (January 14).
“The only thing I know about the film is I know Sam quite well, and I read the script and I feel what it did really nicely was… I was reminded of [Winehouse’s] humor and it really caught that well,” he said.
“I think she just had this whip-smart razor sense of humor which is one of her many gifts and they got that very nice in the film. I’m looking forward to seeing it.”
Ronson, who is not connected to the film, picked up the Best Song statue for Ryan Gosling’s Barbie track ‘I’m Just Ken’ at the Critics’ Choice Awards 2024.
Back To Black has courted controversy throughout its production, with many accusing the movie of “exploiting [Winehouse’s] legacy” and “capitalising off her trauma” (via Evening Standard).
Additionally, the casting of Abela has been criticised by some fans who claim the actor looks nothing like the late singer. In early 2023, however, Winehouse’s father Mitch defended the choice.
“Marisa’s a great choice for the role, even if she doesn’t look exactly like Amy,” he said at the time.
Alongside Abela, the biopic also stars Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as Mitch, Juliet Cowan as her mother Janis, and Lesley Manville as her grandmother Cynthia.
In a previous press statement, Taylor-Johnson explained: “Discovering a talent like Marisa Abela is akin to finding gold dust. The moment she looked into the lens at her first audition I knew she was the perfect actor to play Amy Winehouse.
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“She put in an enormous amount of work [and] attention to every detail, and she trained daily for hours to be able to sing throughout the entire movie. She doesn’t impersonate Amy, she inhabits her.”
Taylor-Johnson has previously directed the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and the first film in the Fifty Shades Of Grey franchise.
Matt Greenhalgh, who collaborated with Taylor-Johnson on Nowhere Boy, has written the script for Back To Black. Alison Owen, Debra Hayward and Nicky Kentish-Barnes serve as producers.
In December, Winehouse’s parents 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.”
Last September saw Mark Ronson pay tribute to Amy Winehouse to mark what would have been her 40th birthday.