Amber Heard should be feeling pretty good right now. She’s reprising Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is currently shooting in the UK,. That’s despite a brutal internet campaign to get her booted out of the franchise. This encompassed multiple petitions asking Warner Bros. to fire her, as well as a blizzard of false rumors that Heard failed her physical, that she broke her contract, that she’s uninsurable, that her role was being drastically reduced, and so on and so forth.
There was a lot of sound and fury but, as they say, it turned out to signify nothing. Warner Bros. didn’t even consider recasting Mera and ignored all the drama. Producer Peter Safran was asked about the whole situation in a recent interview and said they simply don’t pay attention to campaigns like this:
“You know, I don’t think that we’re ever gonna react to just pure fan pressure. You gotta do what you feel best for the movie, and we felt that if it’s James Wan and Jason Momoa, then it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was. One is not unaware of what’s going on in the Twitterverse, but that doesn’t mean that you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what you feel is right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it, truthfully.”
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This has reportedly been music to Heard’s ears, as according to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us F9 would bring back [SPOILERS] – she’s unsurprisingly very happy that Warner Bros. are backing her up on this. That support is by no means guaranteed, as Depp being fired from Fantastic Beasts is proof that there’s a limit to what studios will tolerate from their stars.
With the battle to get Amber Heard fired now lost, the Depp fans have moved on calling for a boycott of Aquaman 2. I’m skeptical whether this will have any effect on the movie’s box office performance, though there’s a couple of factors in play that may help. One is that the movie will release in the wake of Depp and Heard’s next major legal tussle in Virginia. This will see more of their dirty laundry aired in public and if Heard loses the case resentment against her may build.
Even so, do audiences in China really care about all this stuff? Somehow I doubt it.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will hit theaters on December 16, 2022.