- An “Aquaman 2” producer told Deadline the team didn’t react to fan pressure to fire Amber Heard.
- A petition calling to replace Heard as Mera received more than 1.8 million signatures.
- When asked about the outcry, Peter Safran said, “You’ve gotta do what you feel is best for the movie.”
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Peter Safran, a producer for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” said “fan pressure” had little impact on the decision whether to keep Amber Heard in the franchise.
“I don’t think that we’re ever going to react to, honestly, to just pure fan pressure,” Safran said on Deadline’s “Hero Nation” podcast. “Because, you know, you’ve gotta do what you feel is best for the movie.”
He continued: “We felt that if it’s James Wan and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. And that’s really what it was.”
Last year, a petition calling for Heard’s removal from the “Aquaman” sequel circulated online after her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, was asked to resign from another Warner Bros. franchise, “Fantastic Beasts.” Depp said he was asked this after losing his libel case against The Sun over the publication’s claim that Depp was a “wife-beater.”
The petition, which has accumulated more than 1.8 million signatures, alleged that Heard had “systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood,” and it aimed to have Heard receive the same treatment as her ex.
Safran said the social-media campaign didn’t influence the decision to keep Heard.
“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, you know, or accede to their wishes,” he said. “You have to do what you feel is right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.”
Heard said in November that she was “super excited” to return as Mera in “Aquaman 2.”
She also addressed the protests. “Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality,” she said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
Depp and Heard finalized their divorce in 2017. During the divorce proceedings, Heard obtained a restraining order, alleging that Depp had physically abused her. Depp denied this. Last year, the Daily Mail said it had obtained recordings in which Heard said she’d hit Depp.