Back to Black screenwriter reveals why Mark Ronson was cut from the final film

Virgin Radio

14 Apr 2024, 09:33

Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse (left) Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse (right)

Credit: Studiocanal/Getty

Screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh has addressed why Mark Ronson did not appear in the new Amy Winehouse biopic, Back To Black. 

Despite playing a pivotal role in Winehouse’s career, especially with the 2006 album Back To Black, which the film is named after, fans were surprised to learn that Mark Ronson would not appear in the biopic. 

Speaking to at the World Premiere of Back to Black earlier this week (8th April), Greenhalgh shone some light on why the musician was absent from the biopic. 

“Mark was in it, but he wasn't really cut out because I nearly didn't put him in, to be honest,” he said. 

“I just thought I was trying to get into stories that people hadn't seen before. And you know, I think everyone kind of knows Mark's brilliant. He doesn't really need a movie about him, and it wasn't the Amy/Mark Ronson story at all. It's the Amy Winehouse story.”

The screenwriter continued: “I mean, Mark's there in Back to Black and what he did anyway, so he's all over the music. And, you know, I mean, he's great. This is the best producer in the world, but he wasn't particularly needed as a character within this movie.”

While Ronson had no connection to the film’s production, the musician revealed earlier this year that he had read the script. 

He said (via NME): “The only thing I know about the film is I know Sam quite well, and I read the script, and I feel what it did really nicely was… I was reminded of [Winehouse’s] humour, and it really caught that well.

“I think she just had this whip-smart razor sense of humour, which is one of her many gifts, and they got that very nicely in the film. I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the film stars Marisa Abela as Winehouse and charts the iconic singer’s vibrant years living in London and her intense rise to fame. 

Speaking about the moment he heard Marisa sing, Greenhalgh said her voice struck him. 

“She was in the auditions first, and that's when she sang Fly Me to the Moon. And just in the audition, that's when we just started like twitching and asking, ‘Who is this?’ So that's when I first heard her,” he explained.

We also caught up with the director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, who emphasised how big of a responsibility it was to make Back to Black. 

She said: “Every day was quite difficult because it was a big responsibility. So, every day, I would step into the scene and say to myself, ‘Would Amy appreciate what I'm doing now?’ Are the walls painted the right colour? Is she wearing the right costume? 

“I'd have to constantly have to refer back to Amy through her images through the songs, so it was every single day.”

Back to Black is now showing in UK cinemas.