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Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Are Scoring the New Amy Winehouse Biopic 'Back to Black'

Longtime collaborators Cave and Ellis are working with director Sam Taylor-Johnson on the highly anticipated film.

qnickcavewarrenellissamtaylor johnson
Source: Studiocanal

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis with director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

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Nick Cave and his collaborator of 30-plus years Warren Ellis are currently in production with director Sam Taylor-Johnson, working on the musical score for her Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black.

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Source: Studiocanal

Critics have largely praised Abela's performance in the biopic.

Taylor-Johnson shared the news on Instagram on Feb. 7. She posted a pic of Cave and Ellis playing piano and violin (respectively) writing, "A dream to be working with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on the score for Back to Black @nickcaveofficial @thewarrenellis."

"Nick and Warren were the only musicians in my mind to score Back to Black," Taylor-Johnson said in a press release. "Over the years I’ve listened to everything they've composed and longed to realize the dream of working together. Their sensibility as well as understanding of this story has led to a profoundly deep and moving film score."

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Source: chris friese / CC BY 2.0

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis as Grinderman, Latitude Festival, UK, July 2008.

The pair have worked together creatively since 1993. Ellis was invited as part of small string ensemble to contribute music on Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Let Love In, which was released in 1994. He soon joined as a member of the band, adding violin and an array of instruments, including flute, piano, mandolin and the distinctive-looking bouzouki, a Greek instrument similar to a lute. He also joined Cave's side project Grinderman in 2006 until they went on an indefinite hiatus in 2013.

Their film soundtrack compositions began in 2005, as they joined up for the Australian western The Proposition, with screenplay by Cave, and again collaborated for the scores The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Road (2009) and the French film Loin des hommes (Far From Men, 2014).

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Source: MAR/Capital Pictures / MEGA

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in the zone while performing at a Royal Albert Hall show, October 2021.

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Sam Taylor-Johnson has been attached to the film since it was first announced in 2022. She made known her admiration of the duo in August of that year when she posted a photo on Instagram that she took of the duo performing at London's All Points East.

Actress Marisa Abela will star as Winehouse and do the majority of the singing. It's expected several of Winehouse's songs will undoubtedly take centerstage, like "Back to Black," "Valerie” and “Rehab."

Variety reported that Cave and Ellis have completed 20-30 minutes of music.

Source: ℗ © Emi Music Publishing Ltd, Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited / Amy Whitehouse / YouTube

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

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It's been confirmed that Back to Black will open in theaters across the UK & Ireland on April 12 and the U.S. on May 17.

One person who will probably skip any premiere will be Winehouse's ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. Portrayed on screen by BAFTA-winning actor Jack O’Connell, Fielder (who has dropped the second half of his surname, Civil) is rarely seen in public. The pair had a tumultuous relationship, which some saw as the downturn of Winehouse's career.

Winehouse was found dead on July 11, 2011 from alcohol poisoning at age 27.


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