Bloomberg reports a licensing deal with Netflix will provide funding for the production of Johnny Depp’s first film following the actor’s bitter defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard for describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in an op-ed.
According to the report, Netflix is footing some of the bill for French actress / director Maiwenn Le Besco’s La Favorite, a period film centering on France’s King Louis XV (Depp) and Madame Jeanne Bécu du Barry (Le Besco), the king’s third mistress whose association with him ultimately led to her being guillotined during the French Revolution. Though neither Netflix nor Why Not Productions, the French studio behind the project, have announced La Favorite, the film is apparently slated for a 2023 release in French theaters and has been licensed to stream on Netflix France 15 months later.
Word of La Favorite comes at a time when Netflix has seemingly prioritized courting controversy as a matter of principle and laid off swaths of its staff as employees voiced their concerns about the company’s corporate culture. Netflix entered an agreement with the French film cinema guilds ARP, BLIC, and BLOC earlier this year and committed to investing at least 4 percent of its annual net revenue in France to the production of French and European features, including La Favorite.
According to Bloomberg, Netflix’s license only covered La Favorite in France.
Disclosure: The Verge recently produced a series with Netflix.
Update July 7th, 8:00PM ET: After this post was published, Bloomberg updated its article to report Netflix is licensing the movie in France, and while its financial support will help finance the production, Netflix is otherwise not involved. The post has been updated to reflect that.