- Words Josephine Amstad
Eleven years on from Amy Winehouse's tragic death, a new Hollywood biopic is in the works. But is it necessary?
From Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis to the upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde starring Ana de Armas, it feels as though there has been an incessant appetite for biopics in recent times. With the announcement on the 11th of July that a Hollywood biopic on Amy Winehouse has got the go-ahead, the frenzy shows no signs of slowing down.
There were talks of an Amy Winehouse biopic back in 2015, with actress Noomi Rapace billed to play the singer, but this ultimately came to nothing. After many stalled attempts, the project Back to Black (which has been in the works since 2018) has full backing from Amy Winehouse’s family and Estate. Mitch, the late singer’s father, famously did not come across well in Kapadia’s 2015 Oscar-winning documentary Amy, calling the film ‘horrible.’
The biopic, produced by Studio Canal, will be helmed by Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson (who was also close friends with the star), with the script taken on by Matt Greenhalgh who wrote Nowhere Boy chronicling the life of a teenage John Lennon. The search is on for the actress who will play the iconic role of Amy. Back in 2018, discussing who would portray his daughter, Mitch claimed: ‘I wouldn’t mind betting it would be an unknown, young, English – London, cockney – actress who looks a bit like Amy.’
As the world mourned the tenth anniversary of the death of indelible talent Amy Winehouse last summer, there has been solid backlash from fans over the new biopic. Her meteoric rise, and subsequent tragic death, have been explored in several ways over the years, begging the question of whether people want or need a biopic of a star who’s life was dogged with media slander and paparazzi obsession. With talks of a hologram tour also in the works, many fans feel as though renditions of the star are veering into exploitation. Perhaps Amy Winehouse, one of the most influential artists of her generation, deserves to be left to rest in peace.