See The First Look At Johnny Depp In His New Movie About The Worst King

Johnny Depp is costumed as French King Louis XV in this image from Jeanne du Barry.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

johnny depp
Johnny Depp as Louis XV// (c) Stéphanie Branchu / Why Not Productions

The resurgence of Johnny Depp as an actor and cultural figure shows no sign of slowing, and his new film has released a picture of him dressed as Louis XV, the 18th-century French King generally regarded as one of the country’s worst monarchs. According to Deadline, Johnny Depp will be portraying Louis XV in the upcoming film Jeanne du Barry, which will be his first major film role since the widely publicized, highly divisive defamation trial between him and his estranged former spouse Amber Heard.

As one can see in the picture above, Jeanne du Barry is an elaborate costume drama in the mold of Kirsten Dunst and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (which coincidentally featured Louis XV, portrayed by Rip Torn) or Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth. While Johnny Depp is not particularly known for his work in historical biopics, it is fair to say that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor has a lot of experience wearing elaborate frockcoats and big hats.

While this look at Johnny Depp as Louis XV is a bit more regal than Captain Jack Sparrow, the historical figure is known for being something of a partier, so there might be a little more in common between the two than at first glance.

Johnny Depp has not appeared in a starring role in a film since 2020’s Minamata, in which he portrayed W. Eugene Smith, a real-life American photojournalist working in Japan in the 1970s. The film was released at several film festivals, but was repeatedly pushed back for a wider release, allegedly due to Johnny Depp’s continuing legal issues and tarnished public image at the time. However, since the conclusion of the Depp-Heard defamation trial (which primarily went in the former’s favor), there has been a rapid reclamation of the Ed Wood actor by Hollywood and the public at large. 

We recently reported that long-time Johnny Depp collaborator is interested in working with the actor for a sequel to their 2000 hit, Sleepy Hollow, which also starred Christina Ricci and a murderer’s row of British character actors. Given that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have not worked together since 2012’s little-loved Dark Shadows, this is a pretty strong indicator that Depp is once again a viable commercial prospect after several years in the proverbial wilderness.

It also seems increasingly likely that Johnny Depp may return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, despite his previous statements that he was done with the franchise. The reception of Jeanne du Barry (which has also been reported to be titled La Favorite) will likely be a good indication of exactly how ready the world is for Johnny Depp to be back in theaters. The film will be directed, written, and co-starring Maïwenn as the title character, a controversial companion of Louis XV.

Maïwenn is an acclaimed filmmaker (and according to her, the inspiration for Luc Besson’s Leon), so this is potentially a bit step forward for Johnny Depp in returning to critical good graces. We shall just have to see whether yet another big hat works out for him.