Johnny Depp is set to appear as French monarch Louis XV in a new Netflix period drama directed by Maïwenn. Jeanne du Barry tells the story of the titular courtesan and her regal lover Louis. Below, you can read everything we know about the project so far and see a sneak peek of Depp in costume.
Co-written by Maïwenn and Teddy Lussi-Modeste, Jeanne du Barry marks the actor and director’s sixth feature and looks set to be her most ambitious project since Cannes 2011 Jury Prize winner Polisse. Though Netflix announced it would be carrying the movie back in July 2022, it’s since been established that the streaming giant won’t be involved in the making of the picture.
According to a brief synopsis, Jeanne du Barry tells the story of a “young working-class woman hungry for culture and pleasure, [who] uses her intelligence and allure to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one. She becomes the favourite of King Louis XV who, unaware of her status as a courtesan, regains his appetite for life through her. They fall madly in love. Against all propriety and etiquette, Jeanne moves to Versailles, where her arrival scandalizes the court.”
Jeanne du Barry will star some of the biggest names in French and international cinema, including Maïwenn herself, who will star as the titular lover and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, who will take on the role of King Louis XV.
The project marks Depp’s first major role since he won the much-publicised Depp/Heard defamation trial earlier this year. The actor’s popularity has plummeted since Heard’s accusatory op-ed piece, so this film will be a good indicator of whether he can claw back some of his former glory.
Production of Jeanne du Barry is currently underway in France, where Maïwenn and Depp are joined by French cinema icon Pierre Richard, who has worked with some of France’s finest acting talent, including Louis Garrel, Melvil Poupaud, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pascal Greggory, and Noemie Lvovsky. Filming is set to wrap up on October 11th, 2022.