Amber Heard won’t be removed from Aquaman sequel due to ‘fan pressure’ from Johnny Depp supporters, one of the film’s producers has said.
The 35-year-old played Mera in 2018 superhero film, and is set to reprise the role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, due for release in December 2022.
However, following her ex-husband Johnny Depp’s libel trial against The Sun, which the actor lost, a petition was established campaigning for Heard to be removed from the film.
The petition, which features unsubstantiated allegations that Heard abused Depp during their marriage, has reached 1.8million signatures.
However, Peter Safran, one of the producers on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, said the petition holds no sway over the decision-makers on the movie
Speaking on the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, Safran said: ‘I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You gotta do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it’s James Wan, and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was.
‘One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.’
Principal photography on the sequel began last month.
Heard herself addressed the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp movement in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, saying: ‘Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality…
‘Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.’
During Depp’s libel trial last year against The Sun and its publishers NGN, over an article that called him a ‘wife-beater’, it was claimed that the actor had wanted his ex to be stripped of her role.
Sasha Wass QC, for NGN, told the court: ‘From the moment Ms Heard petitioned for divorce and for a restraining order, the full brute force of Mr Depp and his PR machine was engaged.
‘Reports appeared in the press suggesting that she was a gold digger. Mr Depp personally set out to damage her career.’
Wass said that after Depp sent a text to his sister saying: ‘I want her replaced on that WB film’ – a reference to the Warner Brothers film Aquaman – ‘a petition garnered the support of 400,000 people [quoted at the time of trial] to have Ms Heard removed from the film’.
The messages were reportedly sent to Depp’s sister, producer Christi Dembrowski, ‘who previously had a deal with the studio and was influential there