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‘The makers of this film should be arrested’: Marisa Abela’s singing in new Amy Winehouse movie Back To Black gets BRUTAL reviews online – after actress revealed she got the part ‘before anyone knew if she could sing’

Amy Winehouse fans have been left divided by a clip from a new biopic of her life as with some jokimg the singing scenes are so ‘offensive’ that ‘criminal charges should be brought against the film’s makers.’ 

However, other fans have defended the vocal work of actress Marisa Abela and said that any artist trying to replicate another, especially one with vocal talents as unique as Winehouse will ‘never be spot on.’ 

The controversial film, titled Back To Black will hit UK cinemas in April and is expected to chronicle Amy’s rise to pop stardom as well as her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil (played by Jack O’Connell).

Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse, who is played by Eddie Marsan in the movie, caused shockwaves when it was revealed he is endorsing the film, which has come under fire for ‘ghoulish’ depictions of the star’s drug addiction and also filming her funeral. 

In a new clip released by the makers of the film, Abela is seen singing as Amy and performing at London’s Ronnie Scott Jazz Bar – however die hard Winehouse fans were less than impressed by the performance. 

The controversial film, titled Back To Black will hit UK cinemas in April and stars actress Marisa Abela as the late singer-songwriter

The film is expected to chronicle Amy's rise to pop stardom (Pictured at Glastonbury in 2008)

The film is expected to chronicle Amy’s rise to pop stardom (Pictured at Glastonbury in 2008)

Reaction to the clip on social media was relatively apocalyptic

Reaction to the clip on social media was relatively apocalyptic 

Indeed, Abela recently revealed she got the part before ‘anyone even knew if she could sing or not’.

During an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, set to air Saturday night, Marisa, 27, made the astonishing confession when speaking about her auditioning process.

Marisa admitted she had to take hours of singing lessons to get the part perfect as she transforms into the late singer.

Speaking alongside the director of the biopic Sam Taylor-Johnson, she says: ‘I don’t think anyone even asked me in the audition process if I could sing! 

‘I knew Sam and I felt the same way that whoever was going to play this part needed to be Amy from the inside out.’

She adds: ‘For me when I got the job I wanted to learn to sing as much as I could because this was her chosen medium – this is her artform, this is how she expressed herself. 

‘It felt so odd to do all of this work and then come to open my mouth to sing and cut to a studio recording. I trained really hard, I trained for two hours a day for four months.’

 Taking to social media in the wake of the clip’s release. flabbergasted fans found themselves apologising to Winehouse for the assumed sacrilege.

Reacting to the trailer, one terrified fan said: ‘That teaser has got me real scared for this Amy Winehouse biopic.’ 

Another wept: ‘Amy Winehouse baby I am SO sorry.’

Others were directly critical of Abela, stating she did not look or sound like Amy.

One said: ‘Wait, this is supposed to be Amy Winehouse?’

Another agreed, writing: ‘Oh lol I kept seeing that movie clip and not paying attention. I didn’t realise that was supposed to be Amy Winehouse.’ 

One more person screamed: ‘SHE PUT HER SOUL INTO THIS SONG. Amy Winehouse you deserved better!!!’

The film is due to cover Amy’s relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil during the late noughties.

The film trailer for controversial Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black has finally been released, ahead of the film hitting UK cinemas in April  (actress Marisa Abela with co-star Jack O'Connell)

The film trailer for controversial Amy Winehouse biopic Back To Black has finally been released, ahead of the film hitting UK cinemas in April  (actress Marisa Abela with co-star Jack O’Connell)

Actress Marisa Abela plays the role the late singer-songwriter with scenes depicting her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil (played by Jack O'Connell )

Actress Marisa Abela plays the role the late singer-songwriter with scenes depicting her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil (played by Jack O’Connell ) 

Blake, who was wed to the singer between 2007 and 2009, previously admitted introducing her to heroin and is seen by many of her fans as partly responsible for her death from alcohol poisoning aged just 27 in 2011 (pictured together in 2005)

Blake, who was wed to the singer between 2007 and 2009, previously admitted introducing her to heroin and is seen by many of her fans as partly responsible for her death from alcohol poisoning aged just 27 in 2011 (pictured together in 2005) 

Blake, who was wed to the singer between 2007 and 2009, previously admitted introducing her to heroin and is seen by many of her fans as partly responsible for her death from alcohol poisoning aged just 27 in 2011.

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In the trailer, Amy declares she wants to be known for more than her singing and her desperation to be a mother, before sadly dying childless. 

In one emotional scene she describes Blake as ‘her life and soul’ before their on/off relationship inspires her to write the iconic track Back To Black. 

Last year Blake said he’d have done ‘almost everything differently’ in their relationship as he marked what would have been Amy’s 40th birthday. 

Blake, who rarely gives interviews, was asked by Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard what he would have done differently. He replied: ‘Almost everything’.

He continued: ‘Its sad but I wanted to say happy birthday to Amy. It’s devastating she’s not here. I think about her all the time, I thought about her this morning when I said my happy birthday to her, she was my best friend.

‘If it wasn’t for certain factors I think it could have been a different outcome. Everything happened very quickly for Amy. We were young.’

The biopic of the star has drawn outrage from pals, with musician Neon Hitch, branding the film ‘ridiculous’ and ‘tasteless’, saying: ‘I feel very strange. Can you please all let Amy rest?’ 

Friends voiced their fury with her father, after he allowed ghoulish scenes of Amy’s drugs overdose to be filmed at her old flat. Last February, Marisa was seen with an oxygen mask as she left the property in north London.

The flat is now owned by Mitch, who also features in the scene, as Eddie was seen filming alongside Marisa and other actors playing paramedics.

In the trailer Amy declares she wants to be known for more than her singing and her desperation to be a mother, before sadly dying childless

In the trailer Amy declares she wants to be known for more than her singing and her desperation to be a mother, before sadly dying childless 

In one emotional scene she describes Blake as 'her life and soul' before their on/off relationship inspires her to write the iconic track Back To Black

In one emotional scene she describes Blake as ‘her life and soul’ before their on/off relationship inspires her to write the iconic track Back To Black 

The film shows their difficult relationship which saw Blake leave Amy for another woman

The film shows their difficult relationship which saw Blake leave Amy for another woman 

The couple can be seen enjoying the luxury life that came with Amy's success

The couple can be seen enjoying the luxury life that came with Amy’s success 

In another scene she can be seen getting one of her many tattoos

In another scene she can be seen getting one of her many tattoos 

At the time, Amy’s friends were devastated that her father had given his permission for the flat in Camden to be used to recreate one of his daughter’s darkest moments, which took place in August 2008.

It followed a 36-hour marathon drug-taking session, which ended with her checking in to the £10k-a-week Causeway Retreat rehabilitation centre on Osea Island, Essex.

One told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The fact that Amy’s father has said OK to a scene where she had an overdose in the flat she lived in is disgusting. It was such a personal thing and it’s so upsetting and not needed…

‘It’s like the film is reliving all the darkest moments in her life, when there were so many more amazing moments. All we’re seeing is the depressing stuff, but that’s not who she was. Mitch should be ashamed.

It comes after Amy's father Mitch Winehouse, who is played by Eddie Marsan (pictured) in the movie, caused shockwaves when it was revealed he is endorsing the film

It comes after Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse, who is played by Eddie Marsan (pictured) in the movie, caused shockwaves when it was revealed he is endorsing the film

The biopic has come under fire for 'ghoulish' depictions of the star's drug addiction and also filming her funeral

The biopic has come under fire for ‘ghoulish’ depictions of the star’s drug addiction and also filming her funeral

The cast also features The Crown's Lesley Manville (right) as Amy's grandmother Cynthia

The cast also features The Crown’s Lesley Manville (right) as Amy’s grandmother Cynthia

‘His behaviour is shocking. He didn’t know what went on or what she was like with us all during those years. Amy would really hate that they’re focusing on all the dark stuff that she went through.’

Amy lived at the flat until 2010, when she bought a four-storey house nearby, where she was found dead the following year, aged 27.

It was later confirmed she died of alcohol poisoning.

The biopic has been teased for several years after Amy’s estate signed a deal to make a biopic about her life and career in 2018.

However, the film has attracted significant controversy prior to its release with many accusing the project of ‘exploiting the singer’s legacy’ and ‘capitalising off her trauma’.

Fans have taken to social media to protest the movie and have said they will boycott it because they believe that people should ‘let her rest’.

Last year Blake said he'd have done 'almost everything differently' in their relationship as he marked what would have been Amy's 40th birthday

Last year Blake said he’d have done ‘almost everything differently’ in their relationship as he marked what would have been Amy’s 40th birthday 

Blake, who rarely gives interviews, was asked by Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard what he would have done differently. He replied: 'Almost everything' (pictured in 2007)

Blake, who rarely gives interviews, was asked by Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard what he would have done differently. He replied: ‘Almost everything’ (pictured in 2007) 

Amy’s grief-stricken friends have also spoken out against the biopic, believing it is early for such a film to be made and fuming that the makers of the film failed to consult them about Amy’s life.

They claim that executives working on Back To Black have not been in touch to ask about their memories of the late singer, raising fears that the film will be inaccurate.

One told The Mail on Sunday that they are also unhappy at the casting of Marisa because, despite the near perfect wig she wears and the identical tattoos, they do not think she looks like the Rehab singer.

They also contrast the Roedean-educated actress’s social background with London-born Amy, who was known for her streetwise persona.

How Hollywood stars prepared to play these music icons  

Bradley Cooper – Maestro (2023) 

Bradley Cooper

Leonard Bernstein

Bradley Cooper (left) played Leonard Bernstein in the Netflix movie Maestro

Pictured are Cooper and Lady Gaga in the 2018 movie A Star is Born

Pictured are Cooper and Lady Gaga in the 2018 movie A Star is Born

Cooper says he spent six years preparing to portray conductor Leonard Bernstein.

But in the lead up to its release, the 48-year-old actor and director faced ‘Jewface’ accusations — with some on social media calling him out for wearing the exaggerated facial feature and for playing a Jewish role as a non-Jewish person.

He has since revealed that he sobbed on the phone to Bernstein’s family after they defended him over the scandal. 

Alexander, the son of Leonard — along with siblings Jamie and Nina — defended the actor’s choice to wear the fake nose in a public letter.

The Hangover star said he rang Bernstein’s children to thank them for their support.

But Cooper has been mocked by movie fans after losing the Golden Globe for a role he spent six years preparing for.

He has yet to win a Golden Globe – despite nine nominations – but this loss no doubt came as a shock to the actor, who has been vocal about the gruelling process to make the movie.

This includes forbidding sears on his film sets as he has ‘always hated chairs’ and said he thinks your ‘energy dips the minute you sit down’.

He also revealed to Lin-Manuel Miranda that he spent six years to learn composing for a six-minute scene.

The scene in question was capturing Bernstein’s iconic performance conducting the 1976 London Symphony Orchestra in Ely Cathedral, which ‘terrified’ Cooper. 

The American also played a troubled country singer alongside Lady Gaga in the 2018 box-office hit A Star Is Born.

Chadwick Boseman – Get On Up (2014)  

Chadwick Boseman

James Brown

Chadwick Boseman (left) depicted the ‘godfather of soul’ James Brown in the 2014 movie Get On Up

The Black Panther star depicted James Brown and undertook five-hour sessions to master the dance moves of ‘the hardest working man in showbusiness’. 

Boseman also worked with vocal coach Ron Anderson to master the funk legend’s iconic tones. 

He played Brown in from his humble beginnings in the American South, to the recording studio where he belted out I Got You (I Feel Good) and other tunes and the stage. 

The movie was helmed by Tate Taylor, who directed last year’s The Help, and features an all-star cast that, besides Boseman, Davis and Aykroyd, includes Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis and Tika Sumpter. 

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line (2005) 

Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix (left) played Johnny Cash and June Carter (right) in Walk the Line

Both stars sang every song in the film about Johnny Cash and June Carter, which tells the story of the country star’s romance and Cash’s substance abuse issues whilst touring as a young man. 

Phoenix not only learned to sing and play the guitar, but he did so in a way that echoed the distinctive style of Cash.

The actor – well-known for his portrayal of The Joker, has a reputation for throwing himself into his roles.

To prepare for her role as June Carter, Witherspoon studied videos of the singer and listened to her telling stories to get her voice on point. 

Walk the Line was based on two autobiographies by Cash and follows his early life, his romance with Carter, his music career and his drug addiction.

Witherspoon won Best Actress at the 78th Academy Awards for the movie and the film was also nominated for Best Actor (Phoenix) and Best Sound among others. 

Jamie Foxx – Ray (2004) 

Jamie Foxx

Ray Charles

Jamie Foxx (left) starred as legendary blues singer Ray Charles (right) for the 2004 biopic

Foxx was already a pianist when he took on the role of rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles. 

However, the actor insisted on learning to play like the blind singer, so began practising with his eyes closed.

He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role. A classically trained pianist himself, Foxx won rave reviews for his turn in Ray as the pioneering musician who overcame blindness, bigotry and drug addiction to become one of America’s most beloved entertainers.

The Oscar-winning actor also dedicated himself to bulking up for a role as boxing legend Mike Tyson in an upcoming biopic.

Back in 2014, Tyson confirmed that Foxx would be playing him in a film and would be using CGI to help him portray the heavyweight at various stages of his life and career. 

In 2020, Foxx revealed that his daily workout regimen consisted of doing 60 pull ups, 60 dips, and 100 push ups.

However, Foxx didn’t end up playing the boxer in what turned out to be a mini series aired in 2022, with Trevante Rhodes taking the role instead.

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