Filmmakers have attempted to tell various facets of Amy Winehouse’s story on the big screen, from Asif Kapadia, who won an Oscar for “Amy,” in 2015, to Marina Parker, whose more recent documentary for the BBC, “Reclaiming Amy,” helps to preserve the musical and human legacy of a musician to whom stardom happened through the eyes of an outsider. The exercise continues in January 2023, this time under the direction of a person experienced in documenting the lives of individuals from the British rock community, but who particularly knew Amy. Sam Taylor-Johnson, a specialist in first-person narratives and the filmmaker of the biopic “Back to Black,” which seeks to depict the singer’s life from her perspective, also helmed Nowhere Boy, a movie about John Lennon’s adolescence. The movie, which has been in development since 2018, was set to begin production last summer with StudioCanal and the full support of Amy’s family, especially her father Mitch, who at first resisted a biopic after feeling that Kapadia’s documentary showed him as exploiting his daughter’s gift.
Amy’s father voiced his opposition to having a well-known actor play the lead role: “I wouldn’t mind seeing an unknown, young, English actress – Londoner, cockney – who looks a little bit like Amy”” and his point of view was heard. Lady Gaga had previously been recruited to play the singer’s sister. Marisa Abela, a British actress who attended the elite Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) school and is well-known for her roles in the television series Industry and the upcoming film Barbie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, will play Amy. The actress was picked not only because she shared Amy’s facial traits but also because she shared the singer’s Jewish family background and a passion for singing, which she honed at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. According to recent paparazzi photos, Marisa portrays the singer from Rehab to a T. She wears a leather stud with a black mini-dress and heavy gold jewelry for her slender frame, and her eyeliner is almost swept under a backcombed hairdo, giving fans the impression that Amy is still out and about in London. However, Marisa is actually on set with Eddie Marsan as they take a break in between takes.
“I obtained a job at the storied Koko Club and I can still breathe in all the market stalls, vintage shops, and the streets. The neighborhood has become part of my DNA, just like it has for her.” It was immediately obvious when I first saw her perform at a talent event at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho that she was more than simply a “talent”—she was a genius. Sam foreshadows that the connection between the director, Amy Winehouse, and Camden Town is what distinguishes this new recounting of a previously recounted tale from others. The biopic’s release date has not yet been determined, but we anticipate a thorough exploration of the artist’s heyday, when fame was still a goal and not a curse, as well as a launching pad for Marisa Abela’s future.