Netflix is betting on Johnny Depp.

The streaming giant known for hits like “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton” and “Squid Game,” is set to license and stream Depp’s next movie, fresh on the heels of the actor’s bombshell defamation trial win against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Netflix will financially back the French period film, “La Favorite,” in which Depp will portray King Louis XV.

A source close to Netflix said the streamer isn’t financing the film, but license it for a window 15 months after the theatrical release in France only.

Netflix did not comment.

Directed by Maiwenn Le Besco, the flick is expected to be released in 2023 in French theaters, and will be available on Netflix in France 15 months later. It’s unclear whether or when the film will be available on Netflix worldwide.

Actor Johnny Depp arrives into the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax,
Depp is set to play King Louis XV in a French period drama, which will appear on Netflix in France in 2024.

A rep for Depp declined to comment.

“La Favorite” marks Depp’s first movie role since Hollywood shunned the actor after Heard made domestic violence accusations against him. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor won $10 million in compensatory damages in a lurid defamation suit against Heard in June

The same jury awarded $2 million to Heard, who made similar claims. The “Aquaman” actress has said she would appeal.

Portrait of Louis XV
Depp will play King Louis XV, depicted here in a portrait.
Getty Images

Depp was last featured in a film in 2020, and this will mark his first time acting in French. The movie is set to be shot this summer over three months on locations including the Versailles castle, according to the Figaro newspaper. 

According to IMBD, the director, Le Besco, will also act opposite Depp and play Madame du Barry,  the famous mistress of Louis XV. Le Besco has directed critically acclaimed films such as “Polisse” and “Mon Roi.

Following a recent deal with French cinema guilds, Netflix and other streaming platforms are expected to spend a share of their revenue on local films. The streaming giant said it would invest a total of $40.7 million on French movies in 2022, as it has experienced success with French series like “Lupin” and “Call My Agent!”

Other upcoming French films selected by Netflix include the comedy “Asterix & Obelix: l’Empire du Milieu,” directed by Guillaume Canet, and “Chien et chat,” directed by actress and director Reem Kherici, according to the company.


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Tyler Cowan