French production company Why Not Productions has officially released the first look at Johnny Depp as King Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry, an upcoming historical romance film created by French director Maïwenn. The role will mark Depp’s first feature film appearance in three years following his 2018 role in City of Lies.
Jeanne du Barry, which has begun filming at the Palace of Versailles, is set to take place during the reign of French King Louis XV, which began in 1715 – when the king was five years old – and lasted until his death in 1774. Louis XV was commonly known as “the Beloved” and, true to his name, was known for holding a series of mistresses despite his marriage to Marie Leszczyńska. Among the most famous of his mistresses were Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, known as Madame de Pompadour, and later Jeanne Bécu, better known as Madame du Barry. He entered the king’s court in 1768 and remained there until his death, according to the Chateau de Versailles website.
Johnny Depp and Maïwenn as Jeanne du Barry and Louis XV
The role of Madame du Barry in her titular film will be played by director Maïwenn alongside Johnny Depp as King Louis XV, who is shown dressed in regal attire, complete with a powdered wig, but blindfolded to the corruption of his court.
Deadline reports that Jeanne du Barry is “freely inspired” by the real-life story of Madame du Barry and will feature the future royal mistress as an intelligent young woman initially born in the working class but eventually climbing the social ladder until she meets the king himself and becomes his “favorite companion”; the pair is “madly in love” despite the fact that Jeanne’s arrival at Versailles just a year after the death of his former mistress creates a significant amount of scandal among the courtesans.
Johnny Depp’s appearance as Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry will mark his first major role following his infamous court case against ex-wife Amber Heard; the Depp v. Heard trial began on April 11th, 2022, and lasted until May 27th, with Depp being announced the victor of the case on June 1st. The highly publicized trial understandably threw Johnny Depp’s fame into turmoil, but its effect on his future roles and general stardom has yet to be seen.
Jeanne du Barry will also mark Maïwenn’s sixth feature film, and along with serving as the lead actress and director, Maïwenn also wrote the screenplay for the movie alongside Teddy Lussi-Modeste (The Price of Success). Along with Maïwenn and Depp, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, Noémie Lvovsky, Pascal Greggory and India Hair will also star.