Divisive Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black gets first trailer

The first trailer for the highly-anticipated Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black is here, telling the story of late singer “music, life and legacy”.

Directed by British filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson, Back to Black – named after Winehouse’s acclaimed 2006 album and song – stars Marisa Abela (Industry) as the chart-topping musician who tragically died in 2011 from alcohol poisoning, aged 27.

The one-minute trailer, set to the backing of the titular song, sees Abela as Winehouse ready to perform to a cheering crowd, as she says in voiceover: “I don’t write songs to be famous, I write songs cause I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t”.

The biopic – which is set for release in the UK later this year -traces the English singer-songwriter, and LGBTQ+ icon’s stratospheric rise from humble beginnings in London to international stardom after the release of her first studio album Frank in 2003.

“I want people to hear my voice, and just forget their trouble,” the trailer voiceover continues, interspersed with moments from Winehouse’s everyday life as Abela transforms into the image of the star the world knew and loved.

A description for the film reads: “Told from Amy’s perspective, the film is an unapologetic look at the woman behind the phenomenon and the relationship that inspired one of the most legendary albums of all time.”

Skins star Jack O’Connell stars opposite Abela as Winehouse’s husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, while Eddie Marsan and Julier Cown appear as Winehouse’s father and mother, Mitch Winehouse and Janis Winehouse-Collins.

Finally, The Crown‘s Lesley Manville plays Winehouse’s grandmother, Cynthia Winehouse.

Back to Black is the first biopic about Winehouse’s life and career. In 2015, the documentary feature Amy directed by Asif Kapadia won the Oscar for best documentary feature, while in 2021 the BBC released Reclaiming Amy, featuring never-seen-before family archives and rare musical performances.

First announced in 2018, Back to Black has backing from the Amy Winehouse Estate despite backlash from fans who are sceptical about dramatising the troubled star’s life.

Back to Black arrives in UK cinemas on 12 April. It releases internationally on 10 May.

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