Johnny Depp has found his next project, and his first movie role since 2020’s Minimata. Amid the legal battle the actor is engaged in with ex-wife Amber Heard, after she accused him of abusing her while they were together. Depp was asked to step down from his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore after a U.K. court ruled against him in his defamation lawsuit against The Sun, which called him a “wife beater.” A libel lawsuit against Heard is ongoing in the U.S.
His next project will take the Pirates of the Caribbean actor to France, Variety reports, as Johnny Depp is set to star as King Louis XV in a film by French director Maïwenn, who will co-star in the film as Jeanne du Barry, a countess that was Louis XV’s last mistress. No plot or title for the film has been released, but it is scheduled to start filming this summer.
Louis XV was nicknamed “Louis the Beloved” and reigned for 59 years — the longest in France’s history after Louis XIV. Despite his nickname, Louis XV died as an unpopular king amid accusations of corruption. Variety reports filming will last about three months, and mainly take place at the Versailles Palace.
Minimata, in which Johnny Depp starred as an American photographer documenting the effects of mercury poisoning on the citizens of the Japanese city, was Depp’s last movie role, and really his last big project, outside of some voice work he did for the animated series Puffins.
The actor, who was revealed as Gellert Grindelwald at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, played a big part in the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. However, shortly after filming began for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Warner Bros. asked Johnny Depp to step down from the role amid the allegations by Amber Heard.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were married in 2015 after dating for a few years. Heard filed for divorce only a year later, in spring 2016, at which time she accused him of domestic violence and got a restraining order against him. The back-and-forth between the couple went on for years, and continues today. Discovery+ is producing a two-part documentary, Johnny Vs. Amber, which will examine their battle from both sides, including Depp’s current lawsuit against Heard, which denies abuse claims his ex-wife made in an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2018. That case is set to go on trial this spring.
Amber Heard, for her part, will star in the highly anticipated Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is set to hit theaters in December. Stay tuned for more information regarding Johnny Depp’s latest movie, as well as the Johnny Vs. Amber documentary, and in the meantime, check out our 2022 Movie Schedule to see what other flicks are coming soon to theaters.