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Vertical picks up US rights for Jeanne Du Barry

Vertical has acquired North American distribution rights to the period drama Jeanne du Barry starring Maïwenn and Johnny Depp in the lead roles. Based on true events chronicling a peasant woman’s meteoric rise through the Court of King Louis XV, the film received a 7-minute standing ovation after its opening night world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. Multi-hyphenate Maïwenn also co-wrote, directed and produced the critically acclaimed film which also stars well-known French actors Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, and Pascal Greggory. Released in France on May 17th in conjunction with the festival world premiere, the film enjoyed a box-office bonanza with a decade-best start for a Cannes Opener taking in $2.56 million (US) in its first week.

​Jeanne du Barry follows Jeanne Vaubernier (Maïwenn), a working-class woman determined to climb the social ladder, using her charms to escape her impoverished life. Her lover, the Comte du Barry (Poupaud), wishes to present her to King Louis XV (Depp) and orchestrates a meeting through the influential Duke of Richelieu (Richard). The encounter goes far beyond his expectations for it was love at first sight for the King and Jeanne. Through this ravishing courtesan, the king rediscovers his appetite for life and feels he can no longer live without her. Making Jeanne his last official mistress, scandal erupts as no one at Court will accept a girl from the streets into their rarified world.

The co-writers are Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi and the film’s producers are Pascal Caucheteux and Grégoire Sorlat. The production companies are Why Not Productions, France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma, La Petite Reine, Impala Productions, Les Films de Batna, In.2 Film, and Les Films du Fleuve. Rounding out the below-the-line talent is cinematographer Laurent Dailland, editor Laure Gardette, production designer Angelo Zamparutti, costume designer Jürgen Doering, and composer Stephen Warbeck.

Vertical Partner Peter Jarowey commented, “Jeanne du Barry was by far the most talked about film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and we are thrilled to have come out on top of the competitive bidding war for the domestic rights to Maïwenn’s [visually] stunning piece of cinematic art showcasing Johnny Depp’s return to the big screen. With Johnny’s huge appeal, we feel moviegoers that may not typically seek out foreign films just might turn out for this one.”

Jarowey and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical; CAA Media Finance and Goodfellas negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.

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