Johnny Depp is set to play French King Louis XV in the next film directed by French auteur Maiwenn (Polisse, Mon Roi). According to Variety, production on the film will begin sometime this summer. Filming will take place across many places in France, mainly the Versailles Palace.
The movie’s title and plot are still unknown. Maiwenn will also be starring in the film as Jeanne Du Barry, a countess who was the last mistress of Louis XV. The film will also be produced by Pascal Caucheteux and Gregoire Sorlat’s Why Not Productions, with Wild Bunch International dealing with world sales.
While Louis XV was nicknamed the “beloved,” he died as an unpopular king after being accused of debauchery and corruption. He reigned for 59 years, making him the longest-reigning king of France after Louis XIV.
This Role Will be Depp’s First Since Minamata in 2020
This appearance will mark his first since Minamata, a 2020 biopic about war photographer W. Eugene Smith directed by Andrew Levitas. In a way, this role is somewhat fitting for Depp as he has had a recent fall from grace in Hollywood. The Pirates of the Caribbean star was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard and lost a libel case against the UK news outlet, The Sun.
While the court of public opinion is still divided on Depp since losing this case, Depp was removed from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. He was recast with Mads Mikkelsen who will be playing the role in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and in future films.
However, Europe has not turned its backs on Depp yet. Depp recently received honorary awards at the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary Festival. He was also honored at the Deauville American Film Festival and received an award from Catherine Deneuve in 2020.
The film will most likely be in French, however, Depp has experience with the language as he lived in France for several years with Vanessa Paradis, with whom he shares a daughter, Lily Rose Depp, a rising actress herself.
Maiwenn is an actress-turned-director who has made a name for herself in the French film world. Her last film, DNA, was part of Cannes 2020’s official selection. Her 2015 film, Mon Roi, earned its star Emmanuelle Bercot a best actress award at Cannes that year and her 2011 film Polisse won the Cannes Jury prize. With a star like Depp attached to her next film, this could earn Maiwenn more acclaim worldwide.