Johnny Depp just won a small victory in his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor was partially granted a petition he filed with a New York judge to force the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to release documents that can potentially confirm whether or not Amber Heard indeed donated some $7 million from her divorce settlement with Johnny Depp as she has claimed.
Through his lawyers, Johnny Depp has accused Amber Heard of lying about donating the entirety of her divorce settlement to the two charities, a move that he believes cost him a recent libel case against a British newspaper in November of 2020. USA Today notes that Depp lost his libel case in which he argued that The Sun newspaper could not label him a “wife-beater” in a 2018 headline based solely on her claims. He and his lawyers alleged that the alleged charitable donation was a manipulative move that tipped the scale in her favor in court.
Johnny Depp appealed the libel decision after weeks of mudslinging between the former married couple that included back-and-forth allegations of domestic abuse. However, he lost that as well. Now, fans of the actor are going after Amber Heard, specifically her role in the DC Extended Universe sequel to Aquaman.
Following the verdict on the libel case, Warner Bros. booted Johnny Depp from his role in the third Fantastic Beasts movie, bringing in Mads Mikkelsen to replace him in the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. While Depp faced career consequences for his part in the lawsuit’s mudslinging, Heard did not, prompting many of his fans to petition for her role in the upcoming Aquaman sequel to be recast.
In the first movie, which was released in 2018, Amber Heard played Mera, a high-ranking Atlantian who sets off to the surface to convince Jason Mamoa’s Arthur Curry to join her in overthrowing a would-be dictator who currently sits on the throne. Director James Wan announced on Instagram last month that filming on Aquaman 2 has resumed, prompting renewed calls from Johnny Depp’s fans for the actress to be kicked off the film in what they see as an effort to balance out the scales following him being cut from his latest franchise.
Speaking to Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast, Aquaman producer Peter Safran noted that he does not see the studio removing Amber Heard any time soon, especially to appease Johnny Depp’s fans. Safran, who is also behind the upcoming Suicide Squad movie directed by James Gunn, said that he doesn’t believe the studio will let the DC Extended Universe films simply cave to fan pressure. However, one could argue that’s exactly what they studio did months ago when it let Zack Snyder essentially do a redo of his Justice League movie that was released straight to the HBO Max streaming service to much wider acclaim. So, a more apt description might be that Warner Bros. won’t cave to fan pressure unless it can lead to another movie release.