The explosive failure of Johnny Depp’s 2020 libel case against The Sun appears to have ground his work in Hollywood to a halt—but abroad, his career is doing just fine.

The Fantastic Beasts actor, whose alleged domestic violence against his ex-wife Amber Heard made headlines for weeks last year during the Sun libel trial, is now set to play King Louis XV in French actress and filmmaker Maïwenn’s next production. According to Variety, the director herself will also star as the monarch’s final mistress.

Louis XV ruled from 1715 to 1774 and, though his reign outlasted every monarch but the “Sun King” Louis XIV, he was nonetheless seen as an ineffectual ruler. His time on the throne and ultimate unpopularity helped set the stage for the French Revolution, which began in 1787.

The title and plot of Maïwenn’s production remain a mystery, but Variety reports that filming will take place for three months in France, where Versailles will naturally provide much of the backdrop.

Depp has not starred in an American feature since 2020, when he played war photographer Eugene Smith in the biopic Minamata. But he continues to make appearances and scoop up awards from various international film festivals, including the Deauville American Film Festival in France, where Catherine Deneuve presented him with an award in 2019; Poland’s EnergaCamerimage, which bestowed an award upon Depp in 2020 that he celebrated from afar with a genuinely bizarre photo; the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which honored Depp alongside Michael Caine last year; and the San Sebastian Film Festival, which gave Depp its highest honor only to observe the actor bemoaning cancel culture in his speech.

“It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe,” Depp said in his San Sebastian speech last year. “Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe.”



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