On Tuesday, the Cannes feature Festival was set to get off to a rocky start, with Johnny Depp making a comeback in the opening feature, showing off his French abilities as King Louis XV.
Despite his victory in a defamation battle against ex-wife Amber Heard last year, which included nasty domestic violence charges, the 59-year-old’s career has plummeted in Hollywood.
Depp, on the other hand, has been gradually returning to work and will walk the red carpet for the opening night of the French period drama “Jeanne du Barry,” about an 18th-century monarch who fell in love with a prostitute.
Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s director, told reporters that he was “not interested” in Depp’s trial, but added, “I am interested in Depp the actor.”
Michael Douglas will also be honored with an honorary Palme d’Or at the inaugural ceremony.
The French Riviera festival, which runs until May 27, features a spate of high-profile debuts, including “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on Wednesday, Harrison Ford’s fifth and final excursion as the whip-cracking archaeologist.
Martin Scorsese will showcase his latest epic, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro on Saturday.
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore star in Todd Haynes’ “May December” on the same day.
It is one of 21 films directed by a record seven women contending for the highest prize, the Palme d’Or.
Fremaux said increasing women’s representation at the festival was a “fundamental question” but “I refuse congratulations, it is an evolution. We don’t look at the gender, we select movies.”
Several Palme laureates are back in competition, including Britain’s two-time winner Ken Loach, Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda and Germany’s Wim Wenders.
The jury is led by last year’s winner, Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund (“Triangle of Sadness”), and also includes Hollywood stars Brie Larson and Paul Dano.
Around a thousand police and security guards are in place for the festival, amid fears of protests linked to President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular pension reforms, with the CGT union even threatening to cut power.