Johnny Depp’s appearance at Cannes Film Festival has had everyone talking over the last few days, but what no one seems to be talking about is the film with which he’s making his comeback!
It marks the actor’s first return to the big screen since the highly publicised defamation lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend Amber Heard last year.
Depp’s career has been a lengthy one, having starred in movies such as Finding Neverland, Sweeney Todd and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. However, it is arguably his role as Jack Sparrow for which he is most well known, even getting nominated for an Academy Award for his performance back in 2004.
Fans will be aware that in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Depp made his acting debut as the pirate. He later returned to the character for the sequels Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, and On Stranger Tides before delivering his final performance in Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
This wasn’t meant to be the final film in the Disney franchise, but after Heard accused Johnny Depp of domestic abuse, the actor was fired from the franchise and later filed a defamation lawsuit in the US.
Depp won the $50 million lawsuit in the high-profile case, which was resolved last year, and this prompted supporters of the Hollywood actor to urge Disney to bring him back into the Pirates of the Caribbean universe.
However, it seems unlikely that Depp will return to the iconic role as the star himself has shown reluctance to work with Disney again.
Despite this, Depp has just made his first comeback to the big screen since the defamation case.
His latest movie, Jeanne du Barry, has just made its debut as the opening night film at the Cannes Film Festival. The debut meant Depp got to walk the red carpet for the first time, where he was met with screaming fans, where he spent a full 5 minutes talking to various members of the public.
Once inside the theatre, Depp’s comeback was met with yet more praise, as the actor received a whopping 7-minute-long standing ovation for his performance as King Louis XV, as per Variety.
Critics have responded to the movie with a surprising positivity.
Geoffrey McNab of The Independent said of the film: “Against the odds, Jeanne du Barry has turned out to be a subtle and well-crafted costume drama with plenty of satirical bite.
“It has more in common with Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon than it does Pirates of the Caribbean, with Depp giving one of his more restrained and effective performances as the king who falls in love with a courtesan. His Louis is a taciturn, melancholy but commanding figure with a dark side.”
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called it an “entertaining spectacle,” while Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair said it was “guilty entertainment, preening and ahistorical and basely compelling.”
Depp’s appearance at the festival has not gone unnoted, and Festival director Thierry Fremaux spoke out about why they opened with his first movie back after the defamation case.
“I don’t know about the image of Johnny Depp in the U.S,” he said.
“To tell you the truth, in my life, I only have one rule: It’s the freedom of thinking, and the freedom of speech and acting within a legal framework. If Johnny Depp had been banned from acting in a film, or the film was banned, we wouldn’t be here talking about it.”
“This [controversy] came up once the film was announced at Cannes because everybody knew Johnny had made a film in France…I don’t know why she chose him but it’s a question you should ask Maiwenn,” Fremaux added.
“As for the rest, I’m the last person to be able to discuss all this. If there’s one person in this world who didn’t find the least interest in this very publicised trial, it’s me. I don’t know what it’s about. I also care about Johnny Depp as an actor.”
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