The forthcoming Amy Winehouse biopic looks to be zeroing in on an Industry actor. Just weeks after confirming Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) will direct the film, Variety is reporting that newcomer Marisa Abela is in talks to portray the singer in Back to Black, although the outlet has noted a deal is not yet in place.
Abela currently stars in the BBC drama Industry where she plays the privileged but troubled Yasmin Kara-Hanani. The series will return for its second season next month. Outside of Industry, Abela has starred in the Sky TV series COBRA and starred alongside James Norton in the film Rogue Agent. She’ll next be seen alongside Haley Bennett and Sam Riley in She is Love. She is also set to appear in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie which will hit theaters next year.
The biopic is a passion project for Taylor-Johnson who was good friends with the singer and the project always intended to find a newcomer to portray Winehouse, rather than a pop star. The production also made sure to find someone that was of Jewish heritage to stay true to Winehouse’s background. While Abela has not sung in any of her projects to date, her RADA profile notes that she does sing and is described as an alto.
The script for Back to Black was written by Matt Greenhalgh. The biopic is being produced by Studiocanal along with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward alongside Tracey Seaward. A deal for a Winehouse biopic was first signed off on in 2018, when the estate signed a deal for the movie. Owen and Hayward have been attached to the project since then. Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse, has thrown his support behind Back to Black.
As of now, a deal for Abela has not been finalized nor has a release date been announced for the film.