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La Favorite: 6 Quick Things We Know About The Johnny Depp Movie

Johnny Depp in Murder on the Orient Express
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Though we have been seeing Johnny Depp on TV and the internet more than ever before thanks to his extensive legal proceedings with ex-wife Amber Heard, it has been quite some time since we last saw the Pirates of the Caribbean actor on the big screen. The last time Depp appeared in a new movie was Minamata, which was initially released in February 2020 (though it's just now making its streaming debut). Now that his defamation trial has wrapped up (as well as Depp 's other legal matters), the man who has portrayed historical figures like John Dillinger, Ed Wood, and J.M. Barrie, will soon return with what sounds like one of his most interesting roles in years.

At some point in the near future, Depp will don the elaborate robes, wigs, and other luxurious attire when he portrays one of most well-known members of the French monarchy in Maïwenn’s upcoming drama, La Favorite. If this is the first you’re hearing of the movie, don’t worry, because we have all the details about the royal affair that you need to know…

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

(Image credit: Disney)

Johnny Depp Will Portray French King Louis XV In La Favorite

When La Favorite (not to be confused with Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2018 dark comedy, The Favourite) opens at some point in the future, Johnny Depp will take on the role of French King Louis XV, according to Variety

For those not aware, Louis XV was commonly referred to as “Louis le Bien-Aime” or “Louis the Well-Beloved” during his 59-year reign from 1715 to 1774, according to Biography.com, though the later part of his rule did help cause the discourse that would eventually lead to the French Revolution that took place during the reign of Louis XVI, his successor a couple of decades later. Prior to his death, Louis XV built a reputation of being corrupt and one for debauchery, which will most likely become a major aspect of La Favorite.

Johnny Depp in At World's End

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

La Favorite Will Tell The Story Of Madame Du Barry, Who Rose From Poverty To King Louis XV’s Court

When news first began to surface about La Favorite and Johnny Depp’s casting as Louis XV, ScreenDaily shared some details about the movie’s basic plot as well as the real-life figure that inspired it. La Favorite will tell the story of Jeanne Bécu, also known as Madame du Barry, a prominent figure in the king’s court who rose from being the illegitimate child of an impoverished seamstress to one of Louis XV’s last official mistress. 

No other details about this rags to riches story have been revealed at this time, so it is not yet known how the film will handle the life of the historical figure and other details about her relationship with the monarch. The tone of the movie is another mystery at this time, and we'll just have to wait and see if it's a more traditional narrative or something akin to Sofia Coppola's stylized 2006 biopic, Marie Antoinette.

Maïwenn in The Fifth Element

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Maïwenn Will Not Only Direct La Favorite, She’ll Portray Madame Du Barry

Maïwenn, whose full name is Maïween Le Besco, has built a name for herself over the course of the past two decades as one of the most visionary young French filmmakers with celebrated movies like All About Actresses, Polisse, and Mon Roi. But prior to establishing herself behind the camera, Maïwenn worked for years as an actress, including a portrayal of The Diva in The Fifth Element

When it comes to La Favorite, Maïwenn will put both her skill sets to good use as she will not only direct the upcoming historical drama, she’ll also play Madame du Barry, according to Deadline. When the news dropped that Johnny Depp and Maïwenn would lead the picture, the publication also announced that Louis Garrel, Pierre Richard, and Noemie Lvovsky would also appear, though their roles have not yet been revealed.

Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies

(Image credit: Universal Pictures )

Production On La Favorite Is Slated To Start In Summer 2022 In Various Locations, Including Versailles 

Although there aren’t a lot of details as to exactly when cameras will start rolling on La Favorite, the production is slated to get off the ground at some point in Summer 2022, according to the original Variety article mentioned earlier. In that report, it was stated that filming will take place at various Parisian landmarks with most of the work going down at Versailles, the massive palace and estate that was the home to Louis XV’s reign, and other monarchs before him, going back to the early the 17th Century when Louis XIII first developed the property as a hunting lodge.

This won’t be the first film production to be held on the grounds at Versailles, as the aforementioned Marie Antoinette, Dangerous Liaisons, and Midnight in Paris, among others, have all filmed at the iconic location over the years, according to Architectural Digest.

Netflix logo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix Has Acquired La Favorite’s Streaming Rights In France

A release date has not yet been announced for La Favorite, but the upcoming Johnny Depp movie has found its streaming home, at least in France. In July 2022, Bloomberg reported that Netflix had secured the right to the be initial streaming home of the movie starting 15 months after its theatrical release, but only in the French market. That’s good news for Netflix subscribers in France, but not so good news for everyone else for the time being.

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Johnny Depp in Happily Ever After

(Image credit: Kino International Corp.)

Johnny Depp Will Be Required To Speak French In La Favorite, Though That Shouldn’t Be A Problem

With La Favorite being a French production about the former French king and starring a largely French cast, it should come as no surprise the movie will be held in the native tongue, according to the Variety article from above. You would think that would be a problem for Johnny Depp considering he’s an American who speaks English. Well, not so fast…

Depp spent years living in France with his former partner Vanessa Paradis, with whom he had two children, including Lily-Rose Depp, during which time he learned the language. In 2010, the actor told Reuters that the process of learning French was driving him nuts, though he can speak it. In fact, Depp spoke French in his brief cameo in the 2004 romantic comedy Happily Ever After.

There is still a lot we don’t know, like when La Favorite will open in theaters (don’t count on it being on the 2022 movie schedule), but expect to hear more as the months go by. In the meantime, it’s never a bad time to revisit some of Johnny Depp's greatest roles.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.