Johnny Depp's trailer for the 2023 Karlovy Vary Film Festival debuts at the opening ceremony

Johnny Depp’s trailer for the 2023 Karlovy Vary Film Festival debuts at the opening ceremony

Johnny Depp returned to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday, more or less on screen, not in person.

The opening ceremony of the 57th edition of Central Europe’s biggest film festival in the Czech spa town on Friday saw the highly anticipated premiere of its annual trailer starring the The Pirates of the Caribbean actor.

It was directed by film and commercial director Ivan Zachariáš and is set in the Hotel Gellért, an Art Nouveau hotel in Budapest. With Depp working in Europe at the time of production, a stopover in Hungary fit into his work schedule, the festival noted. “Right at the start of shooting he told me that he would rather improvise,” said Zachariáš. “I was a little surprised at first, but it turned out to be a great idea, since Johnny ended up putting even more of his personality into the trailer.”

Related stories

The director concludes: “We had a lot of fun”. Filming lasted just two and a half hours, according to festival organizers. But Depp didn’t seem in a hurry to leave. “When we finished, he still wanted to chat even though a plane was waiting for him,” recalled Zachariáš.

The Czech festival has been a supporter of the sometimes controversial actor, inviting Depp as its guest of honor in 2021, where he presented two films he produced, music documentary Crock of Gold: A few rounds with Shane MacGowan and Andrew Levitas’ Japan-set drama Minamatain which he also starred.

In May, festival organizers revealed that Depp would appear in this year’s festival trailer. On Wednesday, the festival in a statement detailed that “the new trailer with Johnny Depp in the lead role will have its first screening…at the official opening of the 57th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.” He added: “It can also be viewed simultaneously on the festival’s online platform, KVIFF.TV, which in addition to the trailer will be streaming the entire opening ceremony. The trailer can therefore be seen not only on the large plasma screens in Karlovy Vary, but also at home”, including on computers, tablets and mobile phones.

“Two years ago, Johnny Depp received an immensely warm reception from the public and fans, thanks to which he has become a great supporter of ours,” said the executive director of the Karlovy Vary festival, Kryštof Mucha. “And so he agreed to shoot a trailer even though we were limited by his busy schedule. The trailer did great and I am convinced that Johnny Depp will one day return to Vary in person.”

The Karlovy Vary festival has a long tradition of featuring stars in trailers, which explore what artists who have received a Lifetime Crystal Globe honor from the festival actually do with their statue. Past trailer stars have included the likes of Mel Gibson, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Andy Garcia, Jude Law, Danny DeVito, Miloš Forman and Casey Affleck.

“The idea to shoot festival trailers with distinctive representatives of world cinema arose 15 years ago,” the festival recently emphasized. “The creative minds behind these micro-stories that show their subjects’ connection to the festival are directors Ivan Zachariáš and Martin Krejčí.”

The 57th Karlovy Vary Film Festival will run until 8 July.

Check out the new festival trailer, starring Depp, below.