Johnny Depp has assumed the role of King Louis XV in French filmmaker Maïwenn’s forthcoming film Jeanne du Barry.
This marks the 59-year-old actor’s first film role in three years. It also comes months after his legal victory in the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Production of the historical romance drama began in Paris and the Île-de-France region in late July, following the trial’s end in June.
The historical romance drama stars Maïwenn in the titular role, and follows Jeanne, a young courtesan who captures the interest of King Louis XV. Unaware of her status, he falls deeply in love. However, her arrival to Versailles scandalises the court.
On Wednesday (10 August), Stephen Deuters, CEO of Depp’s UK and European-based film and television company IN2 Film, shared the first exclusive photo of the actor in character as King Louis XV.
Depp’s last major acting role was in the 2020 independent drama Minamata, where he portrayed war photographer W Eugene Smith.
Later that same year, Warner Bros forced him to resign from the newest Fantastic Beast: The Secrets of Dumbledore, after he lost a libel case against The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater”.
Mads Mikkelsen promptly replaced Depp’s role as evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
Depp sued Heard for $50m (£40.1m) for allegedly implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although Heard didn’t name him, he claims her allegations impacted his ability to work.
Heard then filed a countersuit accusing Depp of allegedly orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
In June, following his six-week trial, the jury’s verdict largely sided with Depp finding that Heard had defamed him on all three counts.
She was demanded to award him $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages. Heard was found to have a partial win in her case and was awarded $2m in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages.