Johnny Depp to direct first film in 25 years as Modigliani biopic announced after Amber Heard court battle

Johnny Depp recently won his court battle against ex-wife Amber Heard (Picture: AP)

Johnny Depp is set to direct his first film in 25 years, it has been claimed.

The 59-year-old recently returned to work in the wake of his lengthy defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, in which he sued the Aquaman actress for an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, discussing her experience with domestic abuse.

After a fierce court battle, the jury eventually found in his favor and awarded him $10million, with the 36-year-old winning one count of her countersuit and being given $2m.

Following his legal woes, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor will reportedly be getting behind the camera once again, for a new project on renowned artist Amedeo Modigliani.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project is based on a play by Dennis McIntyre, and will explore the work of the painter and sculptor during an eventful time in 1916, which would mark a turning point in his life and career. 

As well as sitting in the director’s chair, Depp will also co-produce the flick for IN.2, beside Al Pacino and Barry Navidi, with production set to begin in 2023.

The actor is returning to the director’s chair (Picture: Getty)

‘The saga of Mr Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen,’ he told the publication. 

‘It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph — a universally human story all viewers can identify with.’

Navidi continued: ‘This project has been very close to Al’s heart. Al introduced me to the play Modigliani many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it.

‘This is a slice of Modi’s life and not a bio. It’s been a dream of mine to work with Johnny again – he’s a true artist with an amazing vision to bring this great story to the screen.’

Amber Heard won one count of her countersuit against her ex-husband (Picture: Reuters)

Little else is known about Modigliani, with the cast not yet announced.

Depp first got behind the camera 25 years ago, directing 1997 movie, The Brave, which he also co-wrote and starred in.

Aside from his upcoming directorial venture, the Edward Scissorhands star recently gave fans a glimpse at his stint as King Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry – following a young working-class woman who uses her intelligence to climb the social ladder, before landing on the radar of the Royal.

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The period drama started filming last month, and marked the Hollywood star’s first feature film in three years – Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Pascal Greggory and India Hair are also believed to star.

The first promo was unveiled last week and saw the actor posing sideways in full regal costume, including a plumed hat and curled white hair, complete with a black blindfold over his eyes.

Deadline reports that the shoot is expected to last for 11 weeks, with locations including Paris and Versailles.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Depp’s reps for a comment.

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