The producer for the upcoming DC superhero movie Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Peter Safran said that he has no plans of removing actor Amber Heard from the franchise. The film is a sequel to the 2017 film Aquaman starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and Nicole Kidman in the lead.
According to a report by Deadline, a social media campaign by actor Johnny Depp’s fans to oust Heard (who plays the fictional superhero Mera) from the film has had no impact on their decisions regarding production and casting. Speaking on the Deadline Hero Nation Podcast, the producer said, “I don’t think we are ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You got to do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it is James Wan, and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That is really what it was.”
Last year, after Johnny Depp resigned from Warner Bros. franchise Fantastic Beasts, an online petition calling for Amber Heard’s removal from the Aquaman series went viral. According to Insider, the petition garnered over 1.8 million signatures.
Depp’s resignation was a result of him losing a libels case against the U.K publication The Sun, which had referred to him as a “wife-beater.”
This debate once again gained momentum when Aquaman director James Wan took to Instagram to announce that the production for the sequel is underway. The announcement led #JusticeforJohnnyDepp to trend on Twitter.
“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,” said Safran.
Similarly, during an interview, Amber Heard said, “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.”