For its opening film, Cannes organizers have opted for both star power and potential controversy with “Jean du Barry,” a French costume drama that is Johnny Depp’s first major film. Bitter lawsuit for defamation last year.
Directed and starring Maïwenn, the film focuses on a young woman from humble origins who becomes Madame du Barry, a favorite of King Louis XV of France, playing in a deep white wig and powdered face. .
The lawsuit between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard rocked the world last year when the actress alleged physical and sexual abuse. sexual abuse. Depp denied the claims, Emphasizing that She was the real aggressor in the relationship. (A judge in Britain ruled in an earlier case that there was evidence that Depp had assaulted Heard.)
Jury in Virginia Widely sided Along with Depp, it was found that Heard defamed her when she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post. Heard initially appealed the decision but then announced last year that she intended to do so. Settled The conflict
The announcement last month that “Jean du Barry” would be screened after Cannes’ opening ceremony sparked online division, with some criticizing festival organizers (the hashtag #CannesYouNot circulated with the news). Gaya), while Depp’s devout fans celebrated it as a symbol. Return of the actor
Thierry Fremaux, director of the festival, said in a statement The interview with Variety last month that he did not see the film as a divisive choice. “The only thing we know is the justice system and I think he won the legal case,” he said in the interview. “But the movie is not about Johnny Depp.”
At a news conference Monday, Fremaux said he was not interested in a defamation lawsuit, noting, “I care about Johnny Depp as an actor.” The Hollywood Reporter.
French newspaper Liberation published one on Tuesday. An open letterSigned by more than 100 actors, it accused the festival and the wider film industry of not expelling those accused of assault and abuse from the event. Depp was not named.
“Obviously, it does not come out of nowhere that abusers, harassers and violators have been offered a place on the red carpet of this festival,” the letter said. “It’s a symbol of a world order.”
While some of the most defining films of Depp’s career feature eccentric leads who dominate the film (including Sweeney Todd and Willy Wonka), in “Jean du Barry” he plays a secondary role to Maven, who The film “Police” won the Jury Prize. Cannes in 2011. Depp appeared at the festival in the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film that same year.
During the trial, Depp’s lawyers argued that Herds op-ed The Washington Post destroyed the actor’s film career, saying that after it was published, he was no longer able to book studio films. Herd responded that her bad publicity and on-set behavior were to blame for any downturn in her career.
After the trial, Depp quickly re-entered the public sphere, playing concerts with Jeff Beck in Europe and appearing in a Rihanna-backed fashion show. But this is his first big comeback in the film industry.
“Jean du Barry” is sure to make a big showing in France, where it opens in theaters Tuesday and will appear later on Netflix there.
No plans for distribution in the United States have been announced.