'Back To Black': 'Industry' Star Marisa Abela Emerges As Frontrunner To Play Amy Winehouse In Biopic

While it’s not yet a lock, “Back To Black,” the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, may have its lead. Variety reports that Marisa Abela, one of the stars of the HBO/BBC drama “Industry,” is the current frontrunner to play the late singer. There’s a small group of other actresses in the mix, but Abela currently leads the pack.

READ MORE: ‘Back To Black’: Sam Taylor-Johnson To Direct The Amy Winehouse Biopic

Abela plays the troubled Yasmin Kara-Hanani in the London-set series “Industry,” which returns for its second season next month. She also stars in the Sky TV series “COBRA” and alongside James Norton and Gemma Arterton in the thriller movie “Rogue Agent.” The actress stars next in “She Is Love” with Haley Bennett and Sam Riley. Abela also recently joined the cast of Greta Gerwig‘s “Barbie,”

At just 25 years old, British, a recent graduate of the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art in London, and with Jewish heritage (her background is Maltese, Libyan, Russian, and Polish), Abela fits the casting for Winehouse, but not exactly to a tee. She’s not known as a singer in her film and TV credits, but her RADA profile does indicate she can sing, and she’s an alto, like Winehouse. Producers reportedly want a newcomer to play Winehouse in “Back To Black,” but Abela still counts as one, given her age and credits. So, will she nab the part?

“Back To Black” is a passion project for “Nowhere Boy” director Sam Taylor-Johnson, as he and Winehouse were close friends when she was alive. And Taylor-Johnson is no stranger to musical biopics, either. Along with “Nowhere Boy,” a movie about a young pre-Beatles John Lennon in Liverpool, he also wrote “Control,” the 2007 film about Joy Division singer Ian CurtisMatt Greenhalgh, who co-wrote those films with Taylor-Johnson, pens the script for “Back To Black.”  Alison Owen, Debra Hayward, and Tracey Seaward produce the movie through Studiocanal.

Winehouse has already been the subject of a couple of movies since her death. “Amy,” the 2011 documentary about the singer, won an Oscar, while BBC released another documentary, “Reclaiming Amy,” just last year. Owen and Hayward first signed a movie with Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse and the Winehouse estate to make a biopic in 2018. “Kinky Boots” writer Geoff Deane originally penned the script before Taylor-Johnson and Greenhalgh got on board.

So, will Marisa Abela become Amy Winehouse in “Back To Black”? Stay tuned for confirmation.