Johnny Depp to open Cannes Film Festival, marking comeback after infamous defamation trial

Historical film Jeanne du Barry starring actor Johnny Depp will open the Cannes Film Festival this year, his first time film since the end of his highly publicised defamation trial with ex-wife Amber Heard.

The Cannes Film Festival will set the scene for the dramatic return to the screen of Johnny Depp, who was mired in controversy over a defamation case between him and his ex-wife Amber Heard that had many wondering if the actor could recover from the ugliness of the trial.

The film, entitled Jeanne du Barry, is a biopic tale of the life of Louis XV’s working class, and working girl, lover who climbed her way up the social ladder against all odds to become King’s favourite, scandalising his court as his last official mistress.

The drama was directed by Maïwenn, who is a Cannes darling, having screened two of her other films, Mon Roi and Polisse, at the prestigious festival. She also plays the starring role against Depp’s Louis VX, who incidentally had to learn French for the film. He is also a co-producer under his company IN2 along with Why Not Productions.

The last time Depp was cast in a film role was in 2020’s Minamata, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Depp was already embroiled in court cases at the time, losing a March 2021 libel suit against UK newspaper The Sun for calling him a wife-beater. This was followed up by a very public legal battle against his ex-wife who accused him of domestic abuse in an op-ed piece. He won the case, and the two parties settled, but the event left a bad taste in the mouths of many.

Jeanne du Barry will open in French cinemas the same day as the premiere and is expected to join Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Disney’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny when the official selction list is revealed on 13th April.

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