Netflix is playing Johnny Depp’s first new movie in over two years.
Depp, who was embroiled in a difficult legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard for much of 2022, hasn’t made a feature film since Minamata, a drama released in 2020. Now it has been confirmed that he will star in La Favorite, where he plays the French monarch King Louis XV.
Earlier today (July 7), news of Depp’s and Netflix’s involvement in the film first came when reports from Bloomberg indicated that Netflix would help fund and stream Depp’s new film.
However, Slice Mag has learned from a Netflix spokesperson that the streaming giant is not providing funding for the film, but has licensed the film for hosting on its platform after its theatrical release.
La Favorite is a production of a French company, Why Not Productions. It is expected to be released in French cinemas in 2023 with Netflix and then wait 15 months for it to appear on the platform. Even then, the film will only be available to Netflix French subscribers.
The French newspaper Le Figaro (opens in new tab) also has some details about the shooting of the film, which takes place this summer and works in the historic Palace of Versailles in France.
Maïwenn Le Besco, known simply as Maïwenn in France, is collaborating with Depp on the project. She will both direct and star in the film, which will be a biopic of Jeanne Bécu’s life
Bécu, who grew up in poverty as the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished seamstress, rose through the court of Louis XV to become his last official mistress.
Booked to star alongside the couple are Pierre Richard and Noémie Lvovsky.
Analysis: A Risky Move for Netflix?
Speaking to Slice Mag, the Netflix spokesperson wanted to emphasize that the streaming giant is not offering any money for the project and that it will only be available in France. This isn’t Netflix putting its arm around Depp and putting him back in the spotlight, or else you’d imagine their executives putting their hands in their pockets.
After the end of his trial, which played out in brutal, obnoxious details in television proceedings, Depp has spent the summer on tour with veteran rocker Jeff Beck, but there has already been speculation about when he would return to acting and what kind of projecting. .
Vanity Fair (opens in new tab) quotes a film industry source in their report announcing Depp’s involvement in the project, telling the magazine, “I think it only takes one studio to hire him. Maybe he should make an independent film or something.” make that outside of the studio system so it’s acceptable to hire him again.”
It seems that Depp made that precise move. An independent film, shot in Europe, away from the environment of his process, as a first step back. Whether the source of Vanity Fair turns out to be correct and a Hollywood studio rebooks Depp, time will tell.