Johnny Depp Returns to Film as King Louis XV in Netflix-Financed French Feature Film

Johnny Depp stars in his first film since his defamation trial of ex-wife Amber Heard, a French period piece called “La Favorite.”

Depp plays King Louis XV alongside Maiwenn Le Besco, who directs the film as well as the main character, Jeanne du Barry, King Louis’s mistress.

Le Besco has had success before, directing critically acclaimed films such as ‘Polisse’ and ‘Mon Roi’. The film, which will be shot this summer, will be Depp’s first film in French and is expected to be released in 2023.

While the budget for the film is unclear, Depp reportedly has a $20 million upfront payment for each role.

‘La Favorite’ marks a return for Depp after much of Hollywood blacklisted him over Heard’s domestic abuse allegations.

It’s unclear what Depp will earn from his latest film, but the once-in-demand actor has a starting cash of $20 million for each role. Depp was photographed on July 6, 2022 meeting his fans in Hesse, Germany

Amber Heard is seen in Fairfax, Virginia during the trial with Depp.  Heard got $2 million

Amber Heard is seen in Fairfax, Virginia during the trial with Depp. Heard got $2 million

The film will be directed by Maiwenn Le Besco, who will also star opposite Depp in the film

The film will be directed by Maiwenn Le Besco, who will also star opposite Depp in the film

Depp plays King Louis XV in his first film since 2020, Maiwenn Le Besco's 'La Favorite'

Le Besco plays alongside Depp the role of Jeanne du Barry, the mistress of King Louis

Depp’s first role in front of the camera is the role of King Louis XV in the French period piece ‘La Favorite’, which will be released in 2023

In 2020, a UK court ruled that 12 of the 14 violent incidents Heard claimed were “substantially true”, and Depp was subsequently forced to resign from the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise at the request of Warner Bros.

But after his own libel suit against Heard, in which he was paid $15 million, the star seems to be rekindling interest.

Depp is reportedly in talks to star in another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie and reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow after a $301 million bid from Disney.

According to reports, Depp would have joked that he would not return to the “Pirates” franchise even if offered $300 million, leading to Disney offering him $1 million more than that.

His last film, ‘Minimata’, about war photographer W. Eugene Smith, was released in 2020.

The film flopped, grossing a paltry $1.7 million worldwide on a budget of $11-13 million. Depp was awarded $3 million for his role after “funding was shaky,” his agent said.

The announcement comes as Netflix’s subscriber base and value plummeted this year.

Netflix recently agreed with French cinema guilds to invest approximately $40 million in French films in an effort to recoup the interest in its productions.

Depp has a 23-year-old daughter with French singer Vanessa Paradis. Lily-Rose Depp, who is also an actor, was born in the chic Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Lily-Rose also graces the Netflix homepage. The young actress starred opposite Timothee Chalamet in the 2019 Netflix film The King.

The streaming giant admitted it expects to lose millions of subscribers this year, and its stock value has fallen more than 70% since the start of the year.

In January, the value of Netflix stock was over $600 a share, but that price has fallen significantly and shares traded for about $180 in June.

The loss of value and revenue has forced Netflix to cut costs, leading to their decision to lay off hundreds of staff and employees.

Many believe an obvious solution to some of Netflix’s recent problems would be an advertising model to boost revenue, but co-CEO Ted Sarandos has dismissed the idea.

“For us, it was all about the simplicity of one product, one price,” he said, adding, “I think it can withstand some complexity now,” Sarandos told the New York Times in May.

“We make decisions based on the best information we have at the time. They won’t always be right, but how you help navigate the results, and the urgency you add to them, is what gets people through the storm. And the storms will come.’

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