With last week marking one year since Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial reached a verdict, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor seems to be making a rather smooth transition when it comes to getting back to work. After his first movie, Jeanne du Barry, had a fancy premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last month, the French-language film was just acquired by a production company for North American distribution rights.
Vertical Entertainment, which is a leading global independent film distribution company, announced in a Wednesday press release that it has acquired the North American rights to Jeanne Du Barry. The company, which has been around for over a decade, has sent numerous films to theaters, streaming and on-demand, including Emily the Criminal, Joe Bell and the After movies. Vertical’s latest acquisition is good news for U.S. and Canadian audiences who are hoping to see Johnny Depp’s first post-trial movie, as the company will be working on a game plan to get the movie to North America.
Given Jeanne Du Barry is not an English-language film, sometimes distribution can be tricky for the United States, but not in this instance. The movie, which was written, directed and stars Maïwenn, clearly has enough buzz surrounding it to be distributed in North America, and we imagine a lot of that has to do with it being Depp’s comeback to acting in years.
Jeanne Du Barry premiered at the opening night of Cannes, out of competition, to a seven-minute standing ovation from its first audience and mixed reviews from critics. The movie follows a working-class woman (Maïwenn) who becomes the last official mistress for Depp’s King Louis XV. Vertical Entertainment partner Peter Jarowey said this about the acquisition of the film:
Jeanne du Barry was by far the most talked about film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and we are thrilled to have come out on top of the competitive bidding war for the domestic rights to Maïwenn’s [visually] stunning piece of cinematic art showcasing Johnny Depp’s return to the big screen. With Johnny’s huge appeal, we feel moviegoers that may not typically seek out foreign films just might turn out for this one.
While Jeanne Du Barry doesn’t have an official release date yet, we don’t see why it won’t be among 2023 new movie releases. The movie opened in France on May 17, in conjunction to its Cannes premiere, and made $2.56 million in its first week, becoming the best box office for a Cannes opener in a decade.
As Johnny Depp’s first movie gets ready for a North American release, the actor is reportedly “much happier” these days getting back to work and touring with his band. He also recently signed a massive $20 million deal with Dior and is getting back into directing with Al Pacino as his star. How Jeanne Du Barry does in North America once it’s released could have a major impact on how Depp’s Hollywood career looks going forward.