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Johnny Depp to play controversial French king

2022 Jan 22, 17:41, Washington
Johnny Depp Photo: AP

Actor Johnny Depp is set to take on the role of French king Louis XV.

As per Variety, the 58-year-old star will feature as the controversial royal in a new movie from French filmmaker Maiwenn. The shoot for the upcoming film will begin this summer.

The yet-to-be-titled movie's exact plot details are kept under wraps. It is being produced by Pascal Caucheteux and Gregoire Sorlat's Paris-based Why Not Productions with Wild Bunch International handling world sales.

Filming will take place for three months on location across Parisian landmarks, mainly at the Versailles Palace.

Apart from directing the movie, Maiwenn will also star alongside Depp as Countess Jeanne du Barry, Louis XV's final mistress.

Louis XV, who was nicknamed 'the beloved' and reigned for 59 years, the longest in the history of France after that of Louis XIV. Paradoxically, Louis XV died as an unpopular king after being accused of corruption and debauchery.

The upcoming film is the first that Depp has signed on to since losing his libel case against a British tabloid in November 2020. He previously sued the outlet after it called him a "wife-beater," following his contentious split from now-ex-wife Amber Heard.

After losing the case, Depp agreed to exit the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the 'Harry Potter' spinoff series, 'Fantastic Beasts'. Mads Mikkelsen was then cast as the villainous character in the franchise's upcoming third installment, 'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore'.

Depp's most recent role was as photographer W. Eugene Smith in the drama 'Minamata', which he also co-produced. While 'Minamata' was not released in the US until last month, it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 21, 2020.

Although he has fallen from Hollywood's good graces, Depp hasn't faced much backlash in Europe.

He recently received honorary awards at the Karlovy Vary Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival. Depp was also celebrated at the Deauville American Film Festival, in the French Normandy, in 2020, and received an award from the hands of Catherine Deneuve.

Depp, who is taking on the role of the French king, lived in France for many years with Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has a daughter, Lily Rose Depp.

The period movie will mark a departure for Maiwenn, an actor-turned-filmmaker whose films are all contemporary and often personal.

Her last film 'DNA', a thought-provoking ensemble family drama was part of Cannes 2020's Official Selection. Her previous film, 'Mon Roi' earned its star Emmanuelle Bercot a best actress award at Cannes in 2015; while her 2011 drama 'Polisse' won the Cannes jury prize. 


Johnny Depp French king Louis XV Maiwenn Jeanne du Barry Amber Heard Catherine Deneuve
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