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11 Years After Amy Winehouse’s Death, Her Biopic Is Moving Forward With Some Fifty Shades Talent

Amy Winehouse in Amy
(Image credit: A24)

The life of Amy Winehouse definitely has the makings of a biopic film. Just like with music biopics such as Selena, Judy and Bohemian Rhapsody where a young musician’s life is cut short, Amy Winehouse sadly falls in this category. The 27-year-old singer passed away from alcohol poisoning eleven years ago, but her story will be told through a biopic that's moving forward with some Fifty Shades of Grey talent behind it.

Sources tell Deadline that the biopic about the famed singer’s life Back to Black will be coming our way soon. Studiocanal will be producing the project with Fifty Shades of Grey's Sam Taylor-Johnson directing it. This isn't an out of left field choice for the British director, as she’s previously helmed the biopic of John Lennon's youth for Nowhere Boy. The film’s screenplay will be written by English screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, who got a BAFTA nomination for the film Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

Amy Winehouse was one of the best soul singers out there who would wow audiences with her expressive vocals and hard-hitting lyrics. The movie will be focusing on the life and music of the Northern London jazz singer, who would eventually become a Grammy-winning star. Ever since her death in 2011, Hollywood has been trying to get this biopic in development, but it's dealt with various setbacks. The film’s proceeds were originally going to the Amy Winehouse Foundation; the organization's mission is to prevent the effects of alcohol on young people. Hopefully this new biopic can continue to carry out this original plan.

The only film treatment we’ve ever gotten about Amy Winehouse was in 2015 with A24’s Amy about the tragic singer’s story. We got a great look at her talent, struggles, relationships and how her battle with fame led to her early death. This documentary ended up exceeding everyone’s expectations by overperforming at the box office. The weekend it came out, it only played on six screens and earned $222,500. Word of mouth and critical acclaim led to Amy’s expansion of 341 screens and earning $1.8 million the following weekend, only for the expansion to continue with another 435 screens playing, raking in $1.1 million. 

While audiences and critics were happy with what the documentary’s filmmaker Asif Kapadia accomplished, Winehouse’s family was not. Their issue with the film was that it was “a missed opportunity to celebrate her life” followed by “basic untruths.” Deadline says that the Amy Winehouse estate is in full support of the upcoming movie. Hopefully this biopic can take on the storytelling tone of Selena where it focuses more on the positive impact she had on the music world. After all, we’re more than just our tragic parts.

Sam Taylor-Johnson clearly has her directing chops cut out of her, as Fifty Shades of Grey broke the box office record of being Universal’s highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and still is to this day. With this in mind, fingers crossed she’ll continue to use her box office magic to present everyone with an Amy Winehouse film that would make the best-selling artist proud if she was here today.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.