So far, the fallout of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s ugly divorce has mostly affected the former, as Depp’s been removed from the Fantastic Beasts franchise following a recent lawsuit going against him. At present, Warner Bros. is standing by Heard and the actress has stated that she intends to return as Mera in Aquaman 2. However, new intel on the DC sequel suggests the studio is keeping their options open depending on how things develop.
Beyond the Trailer’s Grace Randolph has reported that the script for Aquaman 2 is being written so that it allows for Heard’s role to be “cut down if needed” at a later date. One way that this is being achieved is by introducing a secondary female lead into the film. Randolph says that WB is eyeing up Killing Eve star Jodie Comer for the unknown part, though director James Wan is hoping to find an Asian actress instead.
Some of you are asking re Amber Heard – as I told you before, they are bringing on this new female lead to balance things out, and writing the script so that Heard’s role can be cut down if needed. But as of right now she’s still in #Aquaman2
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) December 22, 2020
Following Depp’s firing from Fantastic Beasts, there was a huge upsurge in support for him online and backlash against Heard from those who feel that ample evidence points to the actress being the abusive one in their relationship. Around 2 million people have signed a petition calling for Mera to be recast in Aquaman 2, for example. According to other reports, though, WB believes this is just a lot of hot air and is not paying social media reactions or petitions any heed.
But clearly, if Depp’s next lawsuit against Heard actually goes his way or else reveals some major evidence pointing to her own alleged abusive behavior – as his legal team have claimed they have up their sleeves – the studio may start to feel differently. In that case, according to Randolph, it seems they’ll initiate their back-up plan and boost the role of this new female lead and reduce Heard’s screen time.
Aquaman 2 is due to start shooting in the new year ahead of its scheduled release in December 2022.