Johnny Depp’s Comeback Movie Is Opening Cannes Film Festival

Johnny Depp will be returning to film with Jeanne Du Barry, a French film that will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

While some may still be debating his innocence in abuse allegations hurled against him by his ex, Amber Heard, Johnny Depp is back to living life and celebrating in a major way. Deadline reports that the actor will officially be making his return to the big screen at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where his comeback role in Maïwenn’s Jeanne Du Barry will kick off the event as the opening film. The film’s Cannes debut on May 16 coincides with its worldwide theatrical release. 

The role, which will see the Murder on the Orient Express star play King Louis XV, will be a monumental one as it will mark Johnny Depp’s first production in three years. It will also be a major career move for the longtime Hollywood star as it will be the first time he’ll speak French throughout a film. Along with Depp, director Maïwenn also stars with an ensemble cast set to include Melvil Poupaud, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pascal Greggory, India Hair, and Pierre Richard.

Jeanne Du Barry will see Maïwenn leading the production as the eponymous character and will follow the life of French King Louis XV’s court darling, Jeanne Vaubernier. In it, audiences will watch the young lady arrive at the court of the King as a lower-class woman who uses her brains, strength, and looks to climb her way to the top. A sort of star-crossed love story, the plot will see Maïwenn and Johnny Depp’s characters falling madly in love, with Jeanne turning heads and shaking things up when she takes up residence alongside the King in Versailles.

Appearing in the debut slot at the Cannes Film Festival is a big step away from where Johnny Depp was around this time last year as he was headed to a court in Virginia to battle against his ex-wife in a defamation lawsuit. Glued to television sets, people around the world tuned in for the months-long courtroom battle that eventually saw the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise star victorious over his ex. Although everything seemed to have wrapped up, several grievances have been filed by both parties, making it only a matter of time until the duo ends up back inside the halls of justice.

This face-to-face legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was the second to come from the pair’s relationship, with the actor (and sometimes painter) also taking on British tabloid newspaper The Sun for printing defamatory remarks surrounding the alleged abuse. He would ultimately lose the case, which saw a downward spiral in his career, with the actor claiming that he had been “boycotted” from Hollywood after losing his contract with Warner Bros. for their highly lucrative Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Still yet to be cast in a United States-backed film since his trial across the pond, Maïwenn took a chance on Johnny Depp when she brought him on board for her period drama. Like Depp, his ex, Amber Heard, has also faced a casting slump since her time on the stand, with many DC fans slamming the actress and pushing against her appearance in the upcoming Aquaman and The Last Kingdom. Audiences can catch Depp’s return to the screen in Jeanne Du Barry on May 16.