Depp on a charm offensive

Beleaguered star set to meet the fans in Deauville

by Richard Mowe

Johnny Depp, who stars with Forest Whitaker in City of Lies which premieres at the Deauville Film Festival in September.
Johnny Depp, who stars with Forest Whitaker in City of Lies which premieres at the Deauville Film Festival in September. Photo: Olivier Vigerie
After being defended by the organisers of next month’s San Sebastian Film Festival following protests by domestic abuse charities about his upcoming honorary award Johnny Depp will also put in an appearance at the Deauville Film Festival on Sunday 5 September.

He will take part in a meet the public session and attend a gala screening of Brad Furman’s City Of Lies about the murder investigations surrounding shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace (aka The Notorious BIG).

The deaths were said to be the culmination of an ongoing feud between rap music artists from the east and west coasts. BIG was the target of a drive-by shooting six months after Tupac had died in the same manner, on 9 March, 1997 outside of a Los Angeles museum.

The film was due to be released in the States in September but the date has been pulled after Gregg Brooks, the film’s location manager, filed a lawsuit accusing Depp of assault and battery on the set.

Depp’s character is the disgraced LAPD Detective Russell Poole who had spent years trying to solve the crimes, while Forest Whitaker plays a reporter desperate for answers.

The 58-year-old star of Edward Scissorhands and the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has had a fractious few months in the spotlight after he lost a libel suit last year when a High Court judge ruled that an article in The Sun newspaper that branded him a "wife-beater" had been “substantially true”. Depp has not faced any criminal charges relating to alleged domestic abuse and has strongly denied the claims.

Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp in City of Lies
Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp in City of Lies Photo: Deauville Film Festival
Depp, who last visited the Normandy resort in 2018 to receive an honour from the then jury president Catherine Deneuve, continues his European whirlwind with a date this month at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic where he will receive a Crystal Globe award for outstanding contribution to world cinema alongside Michael Caine. The Czech Festival runs from 20 to 28 August.

Meanwhile veteran director Oliver Stone, 74, will also make a Deauville in person appearance on Saturday 4 September to support the screening of his documentary JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass which was premiered last month at the rescheduled Cannes Film Festival.

Stone during his Cannes visit said: ““After 1963 American went far to the right. The original JFK probably was the most controversial film of my career. I did not think it was going to be such a big deal, but it was seen all over the world. The Assassination Records Review Board was established as a result of the film.”

Stone stressed that JFK was not fiction but a dramatisation of the facts and the narrative he claims was “pretty accurate.” If Kennedy had succeeded in his course of actions “we would be in a whole different place today.”

The Deauville Film Festival runs from 3 to 12 September

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