Jack O’Connell has been cast as Amy Winehouse‘s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil in the new film about the late singer’s life and career.
The upcoming biopic, titled Back To Black, began filming last week and is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who was a close friend of Winehouse. Marisa Abela (Industry) will appear in the lead role.
Now, it’s been confirmed that O’Connell – known for his portrayal of Oliver Mellors in Netflix’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022) and Gary Hook in ’71 (2014) – has signed up to play Winehouse’s former husband Fielder-Civil.
The couple had an on-off relationship prior to getting married in 2007, and divorcing in 2009. Fielder-Civil has previously been accused of introducing Winehouse to drugs.
The ‘Rehab’ singer died in July 2011 aged 27. Back in 2015, Fielder-Civil denied accusations that he was responsible for Winehouse’s passing.
“I don’t think I ruined her, no,” he said at the time (via NME). “I think we found each other and certain people need to realise that she did have other addictions before she met me.”
He continued: “She wasn’t a happy, well-adjusted young woman… and I find it disrespectful to imply I was some machiavellian puppet master.”
Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, once described Fielder-Civil as “the biggest low-life scumbag that God ever put breath into”.
But the latter said he hoped the pair could one day reconcile: “I’d like to speak to Mitch and genuinely, genuinely plea for his forgiveness [for any] parts I’ve played in what has occurred, but I won’t take responsibility for Amy passing away because it’s not fair.”
According to Deadline, Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) has also joined the cast of Back To Black as Amy’s maternal grandmother. Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), meanwhile, has taken on the role of Mitch.
The project has been authorised by the late star’s estate including her father, leading some to question whether the biopic will fully explore the issues that plagued Winehouse’s personal life.
Per a description (via Focus Features): “Back To Black will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of 90’s Camden High Street to global adoration – and back again, Back to Black crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.”
Taylor-Johnson, also known for her work on John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, has reunited with that film’s scriptwriter Matt Greenhalgh on Back To Black. Alison Owen, Debra Hayward and Nicky Kentish-Barnes are serving as producers.
Behind-the-scenes footage from the Back To Black shoot recently began to emerge on social media.