Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are still locked in their messy legal feud, and the continued bad press will not bode well for their respective careers in Hollywood. This is especially true for the latter, and with all the evidence that’s mounting up against her in the court hearings, the Aquaman 2 star now finds herself in a tough spot.
Legions of fans have been campaigning online for months to see Heard fired from the upcoming sequel to James Wan’s 2018 film. As they justify it, this would only be fair considering all the blacklisting that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had to endure when his former flame accused him of domestic abuse back in 2016. And yet, in an age when big studios will do everything they can to repel bad press, it seems that Warner Bros. plans to go ahead with Heard in Aquaman 2 regardless.
Honestly, though, even if the reports turn out to be true, it’s not that shocking to hear that they’ve decided to keep the actress around. After all, the first movie grossed a staggering $1.148 billion at the box office, so the producers have to tread carefully with its sequel. Besides, even if we disregard that whopping number, Jason Momoa and Heard had great chemistry in the film, and that’s not something the studio can easily imitate again with another actress. Still, they can’t simply turn a blind eye to all the controversy amid this defamation lawsuit and it seems that they’ve managed to find a compromise.
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Apparently, WB are prepared to reduce Heard’s role in the sequel in case more bad press arises, while they’re also adding another female character in to presumably slowly steal the focus away from the London Fields star. This news comes courtesy of Grace Randolph, host of the Beyond the Trailer YouTube show, who gave up the info on her Twitter feed.
HOWEVER they are shooting so that Depp & Heard’s roles can be decreased if bad press…
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) October 17, 2020
While it’s always safer to take these rumors with a pinch of salt, what Randolph says, especially in regards to Aquaman 2, is a no-brainer. The company obviously doesn’t want to get rid of Heard, because if they did, they’d have done it already. But they’re also afraid of an endless press scandal afflicting their highly anticipated blockbuster. As such, reducing the character’s involvement with the project, and subsequently, her screen time, seems like the most viable option at the moment.