Johnny Depp is set to have a major comeback this year, thanks to a French film in which he stars as King Louis XV, but explosive screaming matches between the star and the director of the film have allegedly been commonplace, and revelations about the on-set tension may sully Depp’s new take on life.
The year 2022 was undoubtedly an emotional roller coaster for actor Johnny Depp. Every Monday through Thursday for six weeks, beginning in mid-April, Depp arrived at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia and took part in a trial that resulted from a suit he brought against his ex-wife Amber Heard after Heard penned an opinion piece for The Washington Post, in which she painted herself the victim–and survivor–of years of domestic violence. Though she never used Depp’s name per se, the court found that Heard had defamed Depp’s character–and willfully.
The case wrapped up on June 1, following the delivery of the verdict by the jury. But even before the verdict was read, Depp had signed on to play a brand-new role–that of King Louis XV–in a French film titled La Favorite (originally titled Jeanne du Barry). And while fans are thrilled to see Depp taking steps to move forward following his victory in the courtroom against his villainous ex-wife, new reports surrounding goings-on during the filming of La Favorite have them concerned yet again.
Bernard Montiel, Depp’s co-star in the upcoming French film, said during the talk show Touche pas à mon Poste! (Don’t Touch My TV Set!) that things have gotten very heated between Maiwenn and Depp–and not as part of their acting. Montiel says the two routinely “screamed at each other the whole time” they were on set.
But Montiel says that both Depp and Maiwenn are to blame, at least in one way.
“I’ve heard some noise from the shoot, very serious stuff,” he said. “[Depp is] an excellent actor, when he comes on set, except sometimes at six in the morning the crew is ready, and nobody turns up. So, of course, Maiwenn, who is the director, gets angry, and the next day she’s the one who doesn’t turn up.”
“French actor-director Maiwenn, whose latest film Jeanne du Barry [now titled La Favorite] starring Johnny Depp is set to open the Cannes Film Festival, is being sued by Edwy Plenel, the editor-in-chief of Mediapart magazine, for allegedly attacking him at a restaurant.
A police complaint was filed on March 7 by Plenel, accusing Maiween of aggression. Variety confirmed the filing with the Paris prosecutor’s office following local news reports. In the complaint, Plenel alleges that he was assaulted by Maiwenn in late February while eating at a restaurant in the posh seventh arrondissement of Paris.
Maiwenn, who was sitting by herself at a nearby table, allegedly came to his table and grabbed him by the hair before spitting in his face without saying a word, then stormed out of the venue, leaving Plenel “traumatized by the incident,” according to the news outlet AFP, which quoted the police complaint.”
Such news of Maiwenn’s alleged behaviors has diehard Depp fans concerned and hoping that he can cut ties with the French director as soon as the new film premieres.
Mediapart has reportedly never published items about Maiwenn, but it has published several seemingly explosive stories about her ex-husband Luc Besson. Maiwenn and Besson share a daughter, Shanna. Besson was accused of sexual assault by Sand Van Roy, a Belgian-Dutch actor, though the case was ultimately dropped, and the magazine covered the allegations, as it is known for having a part in spearheading the #MeToo movement, a movement Maiween has said in multiple interviews that she does not embrace.
As Johnny Depp was dealing with the legal battle against his ex-wife last spring, Maiwenn cast him to play the part of French King Louis XV in La Favorite. Maiwenn is the director of the film and also plays the leading role of Jeanne du Barry, King Louis’s greatest love.
For 11 weeks beginning in late July 2022, principal photography for the film took place in Versailles and in areas around Paris, France. In August 2022, the studios released the very first teaser image of Johnny Depp as King Louis XV and filming wrapped up completely in mid-October.
Last week, a major announcement was made about Depp’s upcoming public comeback at the Cannes Film Festival. The festival’s website published a press release announcing that La Favorite will open the Cannes Film Festival in May. Depp will appear at the festival as well. The film will premiere on May 16, 2023, after the opening ceremony at Cannes, and will also debut in French theaters the same day. The festival will mark one of the biggest appearances Depp has made since the conclusion of his defamation trial, which wrapped up in early June 2022.