Aquaman 2 – now officially titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – is expected to begin shooting in the UK later this month. Who or what Arthur Curry will be facing off against remains a mystery but, let’s face it, no grotesque horror of the deep is going to outdo the legions of furious Depp stans on social media.
We’ve faced years of speculation about Amber Heard returning to play Mera: seeing multiple petitions to fire her, campaigns to recast Emilia Clarke in the role, rumors that Heard failed her physical, that she’s broken her contract, that she’s uninsurable, that her role has been drastically reduced, and so on and so forth. All of that amounted to diddly squat as yesterday we saw her share a picture of the flowers director James Wan and producer Rob Cowan sent to welcome her back to Atlantis.
Now that the battle to get her booted off the movie has ended in defeat, the fight has moved on to tanking the movie as a whole via a boycott. 20,000 people have already signed a petition pledging not to see the movie, and Twitter is full of people predicting that the sequel will flop. Here’s a selection:
Please @wbpictures transfer the money of Amber Heard's salary for Aquaman 2 directly to CHLA and Johnny Depp's bank account. No need for her to keep another seven million ? oof the boycott, can't wait!
— ??? ?????? (@thefordtweets) June 19, 2021
— hivi (@violet_sinky) June 15, 2021
I will continue to boycott Aquaman 2 and @wbpictures since they turned a blind eye and hired Amber Heard. If you want to see a good movie go see #CityOfLies or #MinamataFilm with Johnny Depp. Both are excellent films.
— QueenOfHearts (@WineDoodles) June 11, 2021
— MyNikkys (@MyNikkys) June 20, 2021
Everyone must boycott Aquaman 2! What a disgusting slap in the face to Dv survivors.#boycottaquaman2
— Rhi Murray (@RhiRhi45641708) June 19, 2021
I love Jason Momoa but we need to boycott Aquaman 2 if @realamberheard is in it… no question.
— seon (@seondingh) June 19, 2021
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I'm not one to boycott movies but I refuse to go see Aquaman 2 if Amber is in it. Fuck that. As much as I was looking forward to it, not gonna waste my money on her. #JusticeForJohnnyDepp
— Bethie (@Bethaboobs) June 21, 2021
— Chloe L ???☠️ (@chloethepiano) June 11, 2021
Much like the campaign to get Heard fired, I doubt this boycott will succeed. Cancel culture rarely works when it comes to blockbuster movies and I think this is simply a very loud (and very committed) minority. It’s also worth remembering that one of the reasons Aquaman was such a hit was its excellent international box office, particularly in China. I just don’t see international audiences responding to a US-led fan boycott of the movie, especially coming in the wake of Heard being vindicated in the British courts over her allegations of domestic abuse.
Then again, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to arrive after Heard and Depp’s next courtroom tussle in Virginia. After the London verdict (now upheld on appeal) legal observers think Depp may be fighting a losing battle, but if he wins that case and mounts a comeback the playing field might suddenly look very different.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on December 16, 2022.