Back to Black trailer: Marisa Abela transforms into Amy Winehouse

The tortured and tragic life of the trailblazing singer Amy Winehouse comes to the screen in Back to Black. The biographical drama is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson who has previous form in this area: she helmed the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy (2009), starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, before turning her attention to the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).

Marisa Abela, best known for the BBC series Industry, looks set to deliver an eerie and transformative performance as Winehouse. The movie traces Winehouse's career from her meteoric success with the Back to Black album to her eventual slide into drug-taking and her tragic death in 2011.

The movie's official logline is as follows: "Painting a vivid, vibrant picture of the Camden streets she called home and capturing the struggles of global fame, Back To Black honours Amy’s artistry, wit, and honesty, as well as trying to understand her demons."

The excellent supporting cast is rounded out by Lesley Manville as Winehouse's mother Cynthia, Eddie Marsan as her controversial father Mitch and Jack O'Connell as her lover Blake Fielder-Civil who inspired much of the heartache in Winehouse's songs and was pinpointed as a key source in her downfall. And in case you're wondering, yes, Abela does her own singing in the movie.

Taylor Johnson tells Empire: "When we first talked about it, my first question to [Marisa] was, ‘Can you sing?’ And she said, ‘I can't’. I was thinking, maybe we'll use Amy's voice throughout, and we'll do it that way. She then went off after that audition – irrespective of whether she knew she'd got the part – and started training her voice.” 

"Now she sings the entire movie, beginning to end. I mean, it's a huge feat."

Back to Black has been made with the backing of the Winehouse estate and follows previous examinations of the singer's legacy, most notably Asif Kapadia's Oscar-winning and heartbreaking Amy from 2015.

Will this be the new definitive take on Amy Winehouse's curtailed but remarkable career? Watch the trailer below and find out when Back to Black is released on April 12th.