Netflix will host Johnny Depp’s first new movie in over two years.
Depp, who was locked in a difficult legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard for the vast majority of 2022, hasn’t directed a feature film since Minamata, a drama released in 2020. He is now confirmed to star in La Favorite, where he will play French monarch King Louis XV. to play.
News of Depp and Netflix’s involvement in the film first broke today (July 7), as reports from Bloomberg stated that Netflix would help fund and stream Depp’s new film,
However, TechRadar has learned from a Netflix spokesman that the streaming giant did not fund the film but instead licensed the film to host on its platform after it released in theaters.
La Favorite is a production of the French company Why Not Productions. It’s expected to be released in French cinemas in 2023, with Netflix having to wait a full 15 months before coming to the platform. Even then, the film will only be available to Netflix’s French subscribers.
That French newspaper Le Figaro (opens in new tab) also has some details on the film’s shooting, which is slated for this summer and will include work at the historic Palace of Versailles in France.
Maïwenn Le Besco, simply called Maïwenn in France, will work alongside Depp on the project. She will both direct and star in the film, which will be a biopic about the life of Jeanne Bécu
Bécu, who grew up in poverty as the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished seamstress, rose to power at the court of Louis XV. to his last official mistress.
In addition to the couple, Pierre Richard and Noémie Lvovsky are booked.
Analysis: A risky move for Netflix?
Speaking to TechRadar, the Netflix spokesman 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 leading him back into the spotlight, or you’d think their executives would put their hands in their pockets.
Following the conclusion of his trial, which played out in brutal, uncomfortable detail on TV, Depp spent the summer touring with veteran rocker Jeff Beck, but speculation had already swirled as to when he would return to acting and in what kind of project.
vanity fair (opens in new tab) quotes a film industry source in their report on the announcement of Depp’s involvement in the project, telling the magazine, “I think it’s just going to take one studio hiring him on the studio system for it to be acceptable to hire him back.”
It seems that Depp made exactly this move. An independent film shot in Europe away from the surroundings of his trial as a first step back. Whether Vanity Fair’s source will prove correct and a Hollywood studio will book Depp again, only time will tell.
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