Producer explains why Amber Heard won’t be removed from Aquaman sequel

Amber Heard will be playing Mera in the Aquaman sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This is despite an online campaign that called for her removal, with supporters hoping that she would be fired in the same way that her ex-husband Johnny Depp was dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, where he had played the dark wizard Grindelwald.

The divisive and public divorce between the pair resulted in allegations of domestic abuse by both parties, with Heard initially winning widespread sympathy for her claims. However, after Depp aired his side of the story, social media opinion swung in his favor. Depp also lost a civil suit against British tabloid The Sun in a case centered on a 2018 article that referred to him as a “wife-beater.”

After the verdict, Depp was replaced in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale), leading to Depp’s supporters accusing DC Films of unequal treatment. However, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer Peter Safran said the campaign had no bearing on Heard’s role in the forthcoming movie, saying on Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast that he doesn’t “think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure.”

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.

For her part, Heard suggested to Entertainment Weekly that the support for Depp online amounted to “paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media.” At the time of writing, nearly two million people have signed a petition on for Heard’s removal.

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