Johnny Depp eyes big screen comeback with “Jeanne du Barry”: Watch the exclusive trailer

Johnny Depp eyes big screen comeback with “Jeanne du Barry”: Watch the exclusive trailer

The French language film marks Depp's first big-screen appearance since his defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

Johnny Depp is making a royal return to the big screen.

The actor, who last appeared onscreen in 2020's Minamata, stars as King Louis XV in the first trailer for the French-language historical drama Jeanne du Barry, written, directed, and produced by his costar, the mononymous French filmmaker Maïwenn. The trailer, premiering exclusively with Entertainment Weekly, offers the first extended look at the period piece, which has been gestating with its director for nearly 20 years.

"I discovered the character in 2006 thanks to the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola," Maïwenn previously told Harper's Bazaar. "She was played by Asia Argento. As soon as she appeared on screen, I was captivated. I only wanted to stay with her."

<p>Stephanie Branchu</p> Johnny Depp as King Louis XV in 'Jeanne du Barry'

Stephanie Branchu

Johnny Depp as King Louis XV in 'Jeanne du Barry'

The filmmaker has been dreaming of bringing Jeanne's story to life ever since. The real Jeanne du Barry was the illegitimate daughter of a common seamstress who used her intelligence and sexuality to rise within the ranks of high society, eventually becoming the favored courtesan of King Loius XV. While she was far from the monarch's only lover, Jeanne's low birth and refusal to conform to royal tradition scandalized the court at Versailles and earned her many powerful enemies.

The film marks Depp's first appearance onscreen since he won his highly publicized defamation suit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Still, Depp has insisted the role does not signify a comeback. "I keep wondering about the word 'comeback' because I didn't go anywhere," he said when the film premiered at Cannes last year. "The notion of something like that is a bizarre mystery."

<p>Stephanie Branchu</p> Johnny Depp and Maïwenn in 'Jeanne du Barry'

Stephanie Branchu

Johnny Depp and Maïwenn in 'Jeanne du Barry'

While audiences are familiar with seeing Depp in elaborate costumes, embodying the 18th-century French monarch required more than powdered wigs and fancy fracs: Like the rest of the cast, Depp speaks entirely in French throughout the film.

"First of all, even if I speak a little French, to get as close as possible to 18th-century French, I worked with a coach who was extremely effective when it came to pronunciation, for example," Depp said of the challenge. "My goal was to detach myself as much as possible from this question so that the words would come out of my mouth in the most natural way possible and I could focus on acting and on my fellow actors."

Jeanne du Barry opens in select theaters in the U.S. and Canada beginning May 2. The screenings will open with an exclusive taped interview in which Depp discusses the film. You can click here for more information on the film and to purchase tickets.

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