Johnny Depp's French Movie 'Jeanne du Barry' to Be Released in North America After Cannes Debut
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Johnny Depp’s French Movie ‘Jeanne du Barry’ to Be Released in North America After Cannes Debut

Johnny Depp fans will soon have a chance to see his first movie in three years.

On Wednesday, Vertical announced it has acquired North American distribution rights to Jeanne Du Barry, the French-language movie that opened the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and made for 59-year-old Depp’s first film since his controversial defamation trial with ex-wife Amber Heard.
The film received an initial release in France that coincided with its world premiere at the festival on May 17 and made $2.56 million in its first week at the French box office — a decade-best for a movie that opened the international film festival, according to a press release.
The movie, written and directed by French filmmaker Maïwenn, stars Depp as Louis XV, the king of France who ruled from September 1715 until his death in 1774. Maïwenn plays Jeanne Vaubernier, a working-class woman who uses “her charms to escape her impoverished life” and eventually charms the monarch, who “rediscovers his appetite for life and feels he can no longer live without her” after their meeting, according to an official synopsis.

“Making Jeanne his last official mistress, scandal erupts as no one at Court will accept a girl from the streets into their rarified world,” the synopsis reads.

The film received mixed reviews from critics following its premiere in Cannes last month, after which Depp could be seen tearing up during a seven-minute standing ovation from the crowd at the screening, a video from the event shared by Variety on Twitter showed.
At a press conference for the film during the international film festival, the actor said he “thought it was very brave of [director Maïwenn] to choose some hillbilly from Kentucky” to take on the royal role, which required him to learn all of his lines in French.

“Like there was a terrible misspelling somewhere,” Depp said, when asked by a reporter how he felt about his casting in the French-language movie. “Maïwenn and I ended up in the wrong room at the same time. I didn’t feel any hesitation with regard to the guy, to character and all that, or the language necessarily, I didn’t find particularly intimidating.”

“It’s like running through the raindrops, but my question to Maïwenn when we first met was, ‘Maybe you want to try a French guy as King Louis XV?’ ” Depp continued. “She thought about it for a second. She said, ‘I thought about that too. No, I want you to do it.’ ”

“So yeah, I was instantly up for it, wanted to do it. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t, I don’t know, stepping out of my box and into someone else’s,” Depp continued of the role. “Getting into other people’s things, culture, thoughts, weirdness. But I’m glad she persisted and I’m glad I persisted.”
Maïwenn cowrote the movie with screenwriters Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi. Aside from her and Depp, the film also stars French actors Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, and Pascal Greggory.
Jeanne du Barry does not yet have a North American release date.


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