Amy Winehouse would have hated this.

In 2011, headlines across the globe lit up with the news that Amy Winehouse had died.

The response was immediate. An outpouring of mourners, well-wishers and heartbroken fans flocked to her home in North London, where she died, to grieve the 27-year-old singer.

It's been more than 12 years since the world lost Winehouse, and now a biopic, Back To Black, reflecting on her life and rise to fame – directed by controversial filmmaker Sam Taylor Johnson – has just received its first round of critical reviews upon the release of the teaser trailer.

And the general consensus is that no one is happy about this movie... well, no one except Winehouse's estate, of course.

Watch the trailer for Sam Taylor Johnson's Back To Black. Post continues after video. 

Video via Studio Canal.

Here's everything we know about the upcoming film, including why so many are pushing back against it.

So, what's going on? 

In July 2022, it was announced that an upcoming biopic of Winehouse was in the works.

It wasn't the only time mentions of an Amy Winehouse movie made the rounds, but it is the first dramatisation to materialise following the 2015 A24 documentary Amy and BBC's Reclaiming Amy in 2021. 


Both were critically acclaimed, and Amy ultimately won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film in 2016.

One release after another about the legendary singer has left fans and critics to wonder if the coverage is justified because of the tragic circumstances in which Winehouse died. 

Nevertheless, Back To Black forged ahead. 

The film stars Marisa Abela, who paparazzi photos captured wearing Winehouse's iconic 1960s-inspired beehive hairdo, the famous winged eyeliner and swirling shoulder tattoos. Abela is the spitting image of the singer. 

Amy Winehouse. Image via Getty. 


Fans were already uncomfortable with images of Abela on set in London back in 2023, which showed her in distress with her beehive hairdo dishevelled and her makeup smudged. The backlash labelled the images as "revolting".

And following the release of the trailer for Back To Black, many have claimed it sensationalises the tragic elements of Winehouse's life, with the film's producers being accused of using Winehouse's name to turn a profit.

What are people saying about the Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black

The public has taken to social media to air their fury over the teaser trailer released for Back To Black. 

The first trailer offers a glimpse into the singer's life, but most fans believe it's a look into a world they didn't need to see. 

"Any fan knows Amy would have hated this. She wanted her legacy to be her voice and her music. She never wanted it for the money or fame, that was just a by-product of the gift she had," read one comment on X (formerly Twitter).

Another said, "There's an Amy Winehouse movie coming out and it's such a fine line because either it'll exploit her from the grave and be s**t and I'll be livid... or it'll actually do her justice and I'll see it every single day and there is no in between."


"We don't need a biopic of Amy Winehouse yet, because we all lived through her career highs and lows. Stop profiting from her!" a third fan wrote.

Fans have also criticised the Winehouse estate, which is managed by the late singer's father Mitch Winehouse.

For the past decade or so, he's been painted in a negative light – especially in Amy, which depicted the singer's inner circle as exploitative of Winehouse's fame, addiction and mental illness.


The documentary went on to accuse those closest to her of ignoring her obvious substance abuse issues and even pressuring her to go ahead with live tours.

Marisa Abela in the Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black. Image: Studio Canal.

Of course, the Winehouse family has largely hit back at the doc, claiming it "misrepresented" them.


"They feel that the film is a missed opportunity to celebrate her life and talent and that it is both misleading and contains some basic untruths," a statement for the family read following the release of Amy

"There are specific allegations made against family and management that are unfounded and unbalanced."

However, the Winehouse estate did give Back To Black the green light, which is perhaps not surprising considering Winehouse was once friends with the film's director.

This means the makers had full licensing and rights to use her music in the biopic – something both previous documentaries also had. They did not, however, have Mitch Winehouse's support when he saw the way they portrayed him.

As such, fans are convinced the controversial figure in the late singer's life only approved the movie in an attempt to vindicate himself.

Considering the delicate details surrounding the star's last few months before her death, fans have argued it would be disrespectful to show her life through a film.

While many are pushing back on the biopic, Back To Black is set to premiere in Australia on April 18, 2024.

This article was published on July 14, 2022 and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Studio Canal.

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