With Heard now taking to the stand to testify in court, there has been renewed interest in a Change.org petition calling for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment to remove the actress from appearing in the upcoming Aquaman sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
This is what you need to know.
What is Amber Heard’s role?
In the Aquaman franchise, Heard stars as Mera, Aquaman’s love interest, a warrior and daughter of King Nereus.
According to DC Comics, Mera’s powers include “super strength, durability, control over water, exceptional swimming ability and ability to breathe underwater”.
Heard has appeared in the role of Mera on three separate occasions - first in the 2017 film Justice League, then the 2018 film Aquaman and for a third time in the 2021 film Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
She is set to reprise the role once again in the upcoming Aquaman sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
The second Aquaman film is slated for a 2023 release, with principal photography for the movie beginning on 28 June 2021.
After filming in locations including the UK, Hawaii and Los Angeles, shooting officially wrapped on 12 January 2022 in Malibu.
Who is in the Aquaman 2 cast?
Alongside Heard, a number of the original cast from the first Aquaman film will be reprising their characters once again for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen, The Get Down)
James Wan is also returning to direct Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom having directed the first Aquaman film back in 2018. Wan has also directed other films such as Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, Fast & Furious 7 and Malignant.
What is the petition about?
A petition to remove Heard from the upcoming Aquaman 2 film, hosted on Change.org, has amassed over three million signatures.
The petition was first launched in 2020 and amid the ongoing trial between Heard and Depp has sparked renewed interest.
The creator of the petition states that “Amber Heard has been exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp” and that following their divorce in 2016, Heard has “systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood”.
It ends: “As Amber Heard is a known and proven domestic abuser, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment should and must remove Heard from their Aquaman 2 film project. They must not ignore the suffering of Heard’s victims, and must not glamorise a domestic abuser.
“Men are victims of domestic abuse, just like women. This must be recognized, and action must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry.
“Do the right thing. Remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2.”
Heard actually addressed the petition back in 2020 prior to filming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, telling Entertainment Weekly: “Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality.”
Have her castmates said anything?
Heard’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom co-stars have remained quiet in regards to her ongoing legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp, however eagle eyed fans spotted that Momoa began following Depp on Instagram after the trial got underway.
While some think that the move was a subtle indication of Momoa’s support for Depp, others have pointed out that he may have been advised to follow Depp by his PR team in the name of neutrality, as he already followed Heard on the platform.
Peter Safran, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer, told Deadline in July 2021: “I don’t think that we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure.
“You gotta do what you feel is best for the movie. We felt that if it’s [director] James Wan and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was.”
He added: “One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes.
“You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.”