Longtime Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux commented on the controversial decision to open this year’s event with Johnny Depp’s new film.
Jeanne DuBarry directed and starred by French filmmaker Maïwenn alongside Depp. The French-language film tells the story of Jeanne Vaubernier, the mistress of King Louis XV.
In an interview with Diversity ahead of the May film festival, Fremaux said he doesn’t believe opening Maïwenn’s film is a “controversial” move.
“I don’t consider Maïwenn’s film at all a controversial choice, because if Johnny Depp had been banned from work it would have been different, but it’s not,” he said.
“We only know one thing, which is the justice system and I think he won the case. But the movie is not about Johnny Depp.”
Filming begins in 2022, around the time of Depp’s public trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp sued Heard in a Virginia court for defamation, alleging that she falsely implied that he abused her in 2018. Washington Post op-ed titled: “I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the outrage of our culture. That has to change.”
A jury determined that Heard defamed Depp on all three counts and awarded him $10 million (£8.2 million) in punitive damages and $5 million (£4.1 million). pounds) damages. Heard was awarded $2 million (£1.6 million) in damages.
Maïwenn starred in the historical drama series of the same name, with Depp, in her first film role in three years, playing her king in a French-speaking role.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
The supporting cast includes Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Richard, Pascal Greggory and India Hair.
In the film’s synopsis, Vaubernier is described as “a young working-class woman with a thirst for culture and pleasure, who uses her wits and charms to climb the social ladder. one”.
“She became a favorite of King Louis XV, who, unaware of her courtesan status, regained her lust for life. They are madly in love. Against all manners and etiquette, Jeanne moved to Versailles, where her appearance brought notoriety to the court,” it read.
Depp hasn’t been cast in a major US film since his 2018 lawsuit against Sun, which he lost after a UK court ruled that the tabloid’s depiction of him as a “wife beater” was “basically correct”.