An Aquaman sequel without Amber Heard was never, ever an option.
Today on the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer Peter Safran was asked whether the social media campaign by Johnny Depp fans for Amber Heard’s removal from the DC sequel ever had any influence on the production and their casting decisions.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure,” said Safran whose James Gunn The Suicide Squad movie hits theaters and HBO Max on Aug. 6.
“You gotta do what’s best for the movie,” continued Safran, “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,” said Safran, “You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.”
On June 28, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom filmmaker James Wan announced on Instagram that production was underway on the sequel to the record $1.1 billion grossing top DC movie of all-time. This re-ignited the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp crew on Twitter again. The call for Heard’s dismissal from Aquaman 2 by Depp fans began after the formerly-married duo lobbed explosive accusations of domestic violence at one another in the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s UK libel trial against The Sun. The court dismissed Depp’s claim, ruling in favor of The Sun‘s allegations against the actor.
Following The Sun verdict, Warner Bros. axed Depp from the third Fantastic Beasts movie, with Mads Mikkelsen taking over the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
In a November interview with EW, Heard addressed the protests against her by Depp fans saying, “Paid rumors 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.”
The former Rum Diary co-stars and married couple are embroiled in further legal disputes on this side of the Atlantic in a $50M defamation suit launched by Depp in 2019. Heard, who threw back at her ex-husband with a $100M countersuit, and Depp are scheduled to go to trial next April.
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