Amber Heard is officially gearing up for Aquaman 2, a return to Atlantis, and possibly a bigger role in his highly-anticipated sequel. But not everyone in the ranks of the DC Extended Universe fandom is happy about the move. There have been persistent calls for Heard to be removed from the franchise and now folks are threatening to boycott the movie if she’s still involved (which she is). The #BoycottAquaman2 hashtag has started to make its rounds on Twitter with folks weighing in with their disappointment about the casting decision.
The Twitter hashtag started picking up steam late last week when it was basically announced that Amber Heard would be returning to the franchise as Queen Mera. While never really all that in doubt, some had held out “hope” that she wasn’t taking part in this next movie. But director James Wan and producer Rob Cowan gave her an “official” welcome back gift that the actress posted on Instagram. This made it a firm casting and that’s when the boycott talk really picked up. Check out some of the tweets flying in about Amber Heard:
It’s not a coincidence that a good number of these tweets also have the hashtag #JusticeforJohnny Depp as well. The vast majority of the calls to boycott Aquaman 2 come from fans of the embattled actor. Among his supporters, there’s a continued belief that he was given a much harsher media and industry penalty for the events of their short-lived marriage than Amber Heard. It’s led to not only online trends, but also petitions as well. A Change.org campaign is currently sitting at over 1.8 million signatures to have the actress removed from the movie. Will it work? Probably not, but there are folks out there trying.
Many of these calls for a boycott and the canceling of Amber Heard stem from the high-profile court case involving Johnny Depp and the British tabloid The Sun which ran last summer. In that case, Depp was arguing a libel case for the tabloid calling him a “wife-beater”. Part of their defense was to prove those claims true and a number of sordid details of the couple’s marriage played out publicly. But there were also reported incidents involving Amber Heard that fans thought were simply passed over. In this way, they thought Depp received too harsh a punishment, being removed from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, while Heard saw little in the way of consequences.
Whether these most recent calls for a boycott of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have any real effect on Amber Heard or the movie remain to be seen. It’s likely they don’t. That’s she’s already been cast in the movie points to Warner Bros not having all that big of an issue with her current standing. And there have been rumors that her role will expand in this next film. Reportedly, the actress has her eyes on a much bigger prize in the future, becoming a full-blown action star similar to DC colleague Gal Gadot.
While Johnny Depp fans might continue lobbing in complaints and boycott calls from the cheap seats, it’s unlikely to change the trajectory for Amber Heard at this point. There could be other issues like her last movie bombing, or the possibility that the next Aquaman flick doesn’t live up to the billing. But these hashtags and petitions don’t seem to be having a short-term effect on her career.