The news of a biopic about the life of late singer Amy Winehouse, starring Marisa Abela, is already eliciting controversy as filming continues. The casting of the star of the BBC One series Industry led to calls of her being miscast, and now friends of Winehouse are reportedly asking why they weren’t talked to during the initial production of the film.
Speaking to the Daily Mail about the production of Back to Black - named after Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album - friends have criticised their lack of involvement amid fears the film may not accurately reflect on the life lived by the 27-year-old award winner.
“Nobody consulted us about Amy,’ said the friend. “How can it be authentic and accurate if they don’t know the real Amy or the truth about what happened in her final years?” Also commenting on the casting of Abela, one friend is reported to have said: “We are against this and we are upset. Amy was absolutely striking.”
The comments come after production images were shared online showing Abela in character, complete with Winehouse’s trademark beehive and glimpses of the distinctive tattoos she was famous for sporting. Winehouse was reported to have had 14 tattoos, including ‘Daddy’s Girl’ on her left arm for her father, and the name ‘Cynthia’ on her right arm in tribute to her Jewish grandmother.
Back to Black began principal filming earlier this month, with Sam Johnson-Taylor taking up directorial duties. Alongside Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse, the cast for the film includes Jack O’Connell as Blake Fielder-Civil, Amy’s husband from 2007 to 2009, Eddie Marsan as Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father and Lesley Manville as Cynthia Winehouse, Amy’s grandmother.
No release date for the film has been given - however reports production will last just eight weeks is also said to have caused concern. It’s been reported several members of the UK film industry have commented on it not being a long amount of time to film a biopic such as this one.