A petition to get Amber Heard fired from Aquaman 2 has now garnered a million signatures. Yet she’s going nowhere, in fact WB is expanding her role. What gives? Why isn’t she being fired? Apparently Warner Bros, the studio making Aquaman 2, feels that the backlash for firing her would be even worse than the backlash for keeping her.
It’s Geekosity Mag that has the inside track and they say: “Heard is seen as the victim in this scandal by WB. Consequently, firing her would be in poor taste and could cause a backlash.”
WB’s view on the situation solidified when Johnny Depp lost his libel case against The Sun, with the judge said The Sun was had not committed libel because their claims that Johnny Depp is a “wife beater” are true.
As a result, Amber Heard is moving forward with Aquaman 2. She told EW, “I’m super excited about the amount of fan love and the amount of fan appreciation that Aquaman has acquired and that it has garnered so much excitement for Aquaman and Mera that it means we’ll be coming back. I’m so excited to film that.”
Amber Heard has addressed the campaigns and petitions that were trying to get her removed. “Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality,” Heard added. “Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”
The drama between Amber Heard and her ex-husband played out in the courtroom. Spousal abuse came from both sides. In one corner, we had Johnny Depp saying he was the victim of abuse. In the other corner, there was Amber Heard, claiming the exact same thing. They were both in court because Depp was suing The Sun, a UK tabloid newspaper, which called him a “wife-beater” from his relationship with now ex-wife Heard.
In the eventual ruling obtained via The Wrap, Judge Andrew Nicol said that Dan Wootton, the executive editor of News Group Newspapers and The Sun, had proved that their story was “substantially true” also concluding “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard.”
Before the ruling came down, things didn’t look good for Amber Heard. Fans believed that Depp gave proof that Heard, divvied out her share of abuse. Online petitions started to pop up that demanded she was removed from the planned Aquaman sequel. It looked like this was on its way to happening and then came the verdict. Depp’s libel lawsuit backfired on the once A-list actor. He was immediately fired by Warner Brothers – the same studio that is also producing the Aquaman sequel – as Grindelwald from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Amber Heard’s ex Johnny Depp announced the move in an apology he posted on his Instagram, “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement,” the actor wrote. “Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.” He then concluded with, “Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading.” Depp’s lawyers told the AP, “The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr. Depp not to appeal this decision.”
So now Amber Heard’s role as Mera will be expanded beyond initial thought. While it may have a little to do with her victory over Depp, the more likely reason is that DC is trying to still compete with Marvel in girl power. With the recent announcement that Marvel is looking to add more women to their roster (Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Kate Bishop), DC may be in scramble mode to up their female ante. Right now, DC does have Wonder Woman, but she is flying solo if Mera is removed. Of course, they could do a recast, but it would look bad for Warner Bros. if they were to remove Heard now. DC also has Harley Quinn and her Birds of Prey, but they are decidedly R-rated and not family-friendly.
It will now be interesting to see just how large a role Amber Heard will play in the Aquaman sequel but it does look like she is here to stay. For WB it’s a lose lose situation, and they’ve decided to take the backlash for keeping Amber Heard over the potential backlash for firing someone who the public may perceive as a victim.