Johnny Depp Makes Red Carpet Return After Defamation Victory

On Tuesday, Johnny Depp appeared to be in full swing of his celebrity persona, engaging with fans through autographs and selfies ahead of the debut of the Cannes Film Festival’s inaugural film “Jeanne du Barry.”

This film signifies the actor’s initial significant role following his widely publicized defamation case.

Supporters in the renowned city on the French Riviera were spotted raising placards bearing the words “Congrats, Johnny” and “We are sorry” adorned with a heart.

Living up to its illustrious image, the festival showcased a procession of celebrities like Mads Mikkelsen, Helen Mirren with blue hair, and John C. Reilly, all gracing the red carpet.

Michael Douglas, joined by his spouse, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their offspring, bypassed signing autographs as he entered the Grand Theatre Lumiere.

At this location, the 78-year-old thespian was bestowed with an honorary Palme d’Or.

“There are hundreds of film festivals all around the world, but there’s only one Cannes,” proclaimed Douglas to the audience. “And suddenly, (it’s) 76 years old – I’m even older than the festival,” he added humorously.

Catherine Deneuve, a 79-year-old legend of French cinema who is the face of this year’s festival poster, was also requested to come on stage and address the guests.

In “Jeanne du Barry,” Depp takes on the role of King Louis XV, under the direction of French actor and director Maïwenn Le Besco, known as Maïwenn.

Maïwenn also stars as Madame du Barry, the French courtesan who ascended Versailles’ social hierarchy to become the king’s chosen companion.

Critiques emphasized the rich aesthetic of the film, backed by the Red Sea Film Foundation of Saudi Arabia contributing to a total estimated budget of $22.4 million. However, they voiced that the film lacked vitality.

“Even the casting – some would say stunt casting – of Johnny Depp as the king offers a few early thrills and then mostly yawns,” critiqued The Hollywood Reporter.

The film, presented in French, which does not yet have a scheduled release in North America, signifies a comeback for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor, who has had limited appearances in film or television since his trial ended in June 2022.

A U.S. jury granted Depp almost a complete win in his defamation battle with his ex-wife and fellow actor, Amber Heard, rewarding him with damages exceeding $10 million.

Less than two years prior, Depp suffered a loss in a British libel case against the Sun tabloid, which labeled him a “wife beater.”

Subsequently, Depp was expelled from the “Fantastic Beasts” film series, a “Harry Potter” derivative.

Thierry Fremaux, the director of the festival, stated on Monday that he was oblivious to Depp’s reputation in the U.S., and since there was no prohibition on his acting, there was no justification to exclude the film.

A public letter endorsed by over 100 actors, released on Tuesday in the French newspaper Liberation, censured Cannes for “rolling out the red carpet to the men and women who assault.”

The letter indicated that there would be no punishment for those actions, although it did not mention any individuals specific names.