In the past six years, Johnny Depp was "boycotted by Hollywood." After his ex-wife alleged abuse, the actor lost several roles. Things are looking up after winning the defamation trial against Amber Heard earlier in June.
Depp is set to star as the French king Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, presented for pre-sales at the Cannes market.
Depp's Return To The Big Screen
The new movie is a French period drama about Jeanne Bécu, played by Maïwenn. She was a poor woman who managed to become the mistress of King Louis XV, also known as Louis the Beloved.
Depp is set to play King Louis, who ruled France for over 58 years. Depp will play opposite Maïwenn, who is also directing the movie.
Johnny Depp's career suffered immensely, as he said during the defamation trial:
"It's pretty strange when one day you're Cinderella, so to speak, then 0.6 seconds [later] you're Quasimodo."
According to Amber Heard's ex-manager, who also worked with Depp for a short while, the famous actor lost one of his best-known roles, the role of Jack Sparrow.
In the prerecorded testimony, Christian Carino said that what happened to Depp's career was due to "conversations with colleagues and studio executives… internal and external. It is something within the industry that is understood."
Losing Jack Sparrow And Fantastic Beasts Roles
After Amber Heard's op-ed in the Washinton Post, Depp was called a "wife-beater" by the British publication, The Sun.
Though he appeared in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, it was a highly criticized move.
His 2019 film, Minamata, was released in 2021, was not a hit, as Depp explained:
"Some films touch people, and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things. And for anything… for Hollywood's boycott of me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?"
Losing the case against The Sun only made Depp less interesting for significant studios.
Minamata Was Almost Unnoticed
Minamata is based on the book by the same name. It follows photographer W. Eugene Smith, who, in 1971, traveled to Minamata, Japan, a coastal city ravaged by mercury poisoning.
With a passionate translator and encouragement from local villagers, Smith's powerful images expose decades of negligence.
Due to Depp's reputation at the time, on July 26, 2021, director Andrew Levitas sent a letter to MGM, which alleged that they had opted to "bury the film." He, in return, asked the MGM to give Minamata more promotion and broader distribution.
Depp Remained Popular In Europe
Despite the allegations, Johnny Depp's reputation was not as tarnished in Europe.
In 2021, the Karlovy Vary and San Sebastian film festivals honored him with lifetime achievement awards.
Depp stated that his fans are actual "employers," not Hollywood studios. He expressed gratitude, saying:
"I'm proud of these people because of what they are trying to say, which is the truth. The truth they're trying to get out since it doesn't in more mainstream publications."
"It's a long road that sometimes gets clunky. Sometimes just plain stupid. But they stayed on the ride with me, and it's for them I will fight. Always, to the end. Whatever it may be."
Though the past years have been hard on Depp and his career, we are confident that he will rebuild his legacy in the upcoming years.