The Libertine is a 2004 British-Australian drama film, the first film directed by Laurence Dunmore. It was adapted by Stephen Jeffreys from his play of the same name, starring Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton and Rosamund Pike.
Depp stars as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a notorious rake and libertine poet in the court of King Charles II of England. Samantha Morton plays Elizabeth Barry, an actress whose budding talent blossoms and makes her much in demand under Rochester's tutelage. Wilmot and Barry become lovers. John Malkovich plays King Charles II, who is torn between his affection for Wilmot and the danger posed by his displays of contempt for his sovereign. Themes explored in the film include the corruption of a people by their self-indulgent monarch and the pursuit of hedonism.
The story begins with John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (Depp), delivering his prologue, the main themes of which are his fondness for drink, his sexual proclivities, and his disdain for his audience.