The ongoing saga of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been dominating the headlines for weeks, with Warner Bros. caught in the middle of a firestorm after forcing Depp to resign from his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 while his ex-wife remains gainfully employed and couldn’t be more excited about returning for James Wan’s blockbuster sequel Aquaman 2.
Fans have very clearly backed the former Pirates of the Caribbean star, and are threatening to boycott both of the franchises at the center of the story as the petition to have Heard fired has comfortably sailed past a million signatures. WB have made their position abundantly clear, though, and they dropped Depp because he came out on the losing end of his libel case against a British tabloid.
Of course, given the very public and incredibly bitter nature of the dispute, reporters will be asking anyone even tangentially related to either Fantastic Beasts or the DCEU to comment on the matter, but apparently, the various actors under contract with the studio have been banned from talking about either party in the press.
“The studio has, in effect, gag orders, strict rules regarding speaking out about ongoing legal cases that could affect the studio and this really isn’t any different than rules in place at any corporation. Ms. Heard has her allies at Warner just as Mr. Depp does but only one of them has suffered a legal setback. Once next year’s defamation trial in Virginia is over, and all parties have settled the various counter-suits filed, the gag order will be relaxed some. Expect their co-stars to be a little more forthcoming.”
Jude Law diplomatically skirted around the issue in a recent interview, while Fantastic Beasts co-star Dan Fogler posted a tweet relating to Depp that was swiftly deleted. J.K. Rowling, meanwhile, publicly backed the actor when he was first hired but has remained silent on his firing, which is probably for the best anyway after huge sections of the Wizarding World fanbase turned against her following accusations of transphobia.
Fantastic Beasts 3 and Aquaman 2 aren’t releasing until 2022, so it could be a while yet before we find out what Warner Bros.‘ contracted talents really make of the entire situation. But you can be sure that they’ll have some interesting stories to share once they’re allowed to talk about the ordeal.