‘Aquaman’ producer: Amber Heard was never going to be fired from the franchise

Last year, Johnny Depp lost his libel case against Amber Heard and the Sun. The British courts said that it’s not libelous to refer to Depp in print as a “wife beater” because that’s exactly what he is. Following Depp’s legal loss, the Hollywood Reporter did an extensive cover article at everything that went wrong with Depp and what is still going wrong with him. They dialed in to the fact that Depp had waged an abusive campaign against Amber long after their divorce, which included Depp attempting to pull strings to have Amber fired from the Aquaman franchise. THR also pointed out that Depp is paying for a bot-army of trolls hellbent on smearing Amber and defending Depp online. The bots and Depp-defenders have really got this huge axe to grind over Amber’s role in Aquaman in particular and they keep focusing on that, like if they just keep smearing her enough, maybe producers will fire her. Well, it’s not going to happen:

An Aquaman sequel without Amber Heard was never, ever an option. On the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer Peter Safran was asked whether the social media campaign by Johnny Depp fans for Amber Heard’s removal from the DC sequel ever had any influence on the production and their casting decisions.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure,” said Safran. “You gotta do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it’s James Wan, and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was.”

“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,” said Safran, “You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.”

On June 28, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom filmmaker James Wan announced on Instagram that production was underway on the sequel to the record $1.1 billion grossing top DC movie of all-time. This re-ignited the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp crew on Twitter again. The call for Heard’s dismissal from Aquaman 2 by Depp fans began after the formerly-married duo lobbed explosive accusations of domestic violence at one another in the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s UK libel trial against The Sun. The court dismissed Depp’s claim, ruling in favor of The Sun‘s allegations against the actor.

[From Deadline]

“That doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes…” Yeah, I understand the play being made by producers, which is basically to just ignore what’s happening and pretend it isn’t happening. Maybe that’s what Amber wants too, as opposed to a full-throated defense from the studio. I imagine there’s some mystery – even among industry professionals – about just how deep the Heard-haters’ campaign really is. It has the feel of a troll-farm, a mile wide and an inch deep, and someone’s paying for it. Maybe they just think that Depp will run out of money to pay for that sh-t. Speaking of, Depp’s lawsuit against Heard here in America is still ongoing although Amber definitely wants it tossed out of court. It should be. And all of this – the bot army, the attempts to blackball Amber in the industry, Depp constantly dragging her into court – all of that is abusive as well.

amber oonah

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Amber’s IG.

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40 Responses to “‘Aquaman’ producer: Amber Heard was never going to be fired from the franchise”

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  1. Case says:

    Of course not, there’s no reason to fire Amber. Some fans like to delude themselves that studios listen to their grievances intently and aim only to serve them based on their conspiracy theories.

    There’s an entire subsection of Star Wars fans who believe the Star Wars sequel trilogy will be erased from canon by Disney and then remade more to their liking. 😂 The QAnon-ers aren’t just into politics.

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      But the studios have listened to the fans at times. The Justice League Snyder cut is the biggest thing to come to mind. As far as smaller things, during the Falcon and Winter Soldier series, the fandom somewhat jokingly asked for Marvel to release the “Zemo cut” or the extended video of him dancing at the club. About 48 hours later, they did. lol. As for the SW sequel trilogy, while I don’t believe they will be remade (just like with that ridiculous petition that went around trying to get S8 of Game of Thrones remade) , I actually wouldn’t be surprised it it were decanonized at some point.

      • Case says:

        Well, yes — they listen to fans occasionally if it will make them money. The Snyder cut probably earned HBO a ton of subscriptions. Decanonizing the sequel trilogy has no financial benefit (and would be costly trying to remove all the ways its embedded into their theme parks, and makes no sense, frankly, when most people IRL accepted them in a far more neutral way than the prequels). Firing Amber without cause could result in a lawsuit/breach of contract issue, etc., and rightfully so.

      • Sigmund says:

        They will definitely never explicitly decanonize the ST. I do think they’ll ignore it for awhile.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I think the studios are also a bit more tuned into what is really going on with the Depp situation. They know that his “fans” online are mostly paid trolls/bots. With the Snyder cut, they had actual real fans that created the demand.

    • FF says:

      Star Wars became like every other franchise when Lucas sold it to Disney. Every franchise – especially one in the hands of Disney will be rebooted.

      If Lucas’ deal stipulated eps 1-6 have to stand, then anyone who thinks the others won’t get rebooted or done over at some point in the future, is kidding themselves. And if the eps 1-6 thing are contingent on Lucas being alive – everything will be done over the minute he passes.

      Where Disney smells money, there’s always a “workaround”.

  2. AlpineWitch says:

    Abusers gotta abuse, right? He is never going to stop. My father never stopped, right until his death. He was screaming at my mum (who had been separated from him for 16 years at that point) from outside and my mum standing on the front door 5 months before dying… Depp is going to be that way until he passes away.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I’m so sorry you had parent like that, unfortunately I did too.
      I feel dreadfully sorry for AH – chances of getting justice for DV is very low but lower still if he is rich, white and famous.
      He is utterly obsessed with her and I think he is dangerous when under whatever influence.
      Most people forget drugs and or alcohol do not cause DV – it is choice based

  3. Darla says:

    Unfortunately the bot campaign he paid for did incite the usual cyber misogynists. And now they do it for free. Some of them are even women. I’ve seen it on another site, when researching this. I really couldn’t believe it. Like, Depp is going to find you defending him on a gossip blog, contact you, and you’re gonna become his new gf? Even if you could stand the smell of his breath this strikes me as a very lowly life goal.

    • cassandra says:

      I was wondering why there was so much online hate against her. It’s like all the incels and red pillers decided she was enemy #1. The bots make sense.

      Her baby is super cute. I’m glad she appears to have moved on (as much as Depp is letting her 🙄) and is happy with her life.

      • Caitrin says:

        They HATE her, and boy do they hate Brie Larson and Kelly Marie Tran. It’s a scary world out there.

  4. Maria says:

    As a person who was groomed and abused for years, only for my partner to, when I cut off contact, scream about how they were a victim and they were so lucky to get away from me (this person dropped our mutual friends because they watched it play out from the start and defended me), this story triggers me like all get out. I can never read the comments about it on any site except here so thank you for that. I believed what this person said about me for a long time and it’s only been in the past year I could reconsider it.
    They continue to rant about me – I have never responded and never will. I’m sure that’s what Amber is doing.

    • nicegirl says:

      Maria, I’m sending loving support your way. It’s excruciatingly difficult to extricate yourself from those types of situations and people. Flying monkeys abound and it’s a terrifying thing to face alone. Celebitches care. My abuser used my social media just a week ago to find my location; target, harass and assault me in my hometown while on a trip to help my son’s grandmother through radiation treatment for breast cancer. I agree with your plan to ignore and not respond, grey rock their asses! Please don’t ever listen to their shit. You are worth Beyoncé level love. Best always.

  5. Eleonor says:

    Ambaer Heard has moved on with her life, and probably the best thing to do is to ignore him.

  6. russianblue says:

    The sad reality is that I think Amber will deal with this abuse for the rest of her career. Not just from Depp, but from the people he won over in his smear campaign.

    I HATE how we’ve supposedly become more progressive as a society in regards to supporting survivors, but the moment that they’re not a perfect victim, or, heaven forbid, fight back? Suddenly they’re not worth supporting after all.

    I wish I could show every Depp stan some articles on reactive abuse. This is a textbook example of it, right down to the abuser flipping the narrative in their favour when their actions are exposed.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Me too. Women are consistently expected be prepared to completely let go of these issues the second they apply to women who have done something wrong, or have failed to meet the patriarchy’s standards of what makes a respectable female. You have to be able to magically unworry about and unsee other women’s and girl’s abuse just like that. The pressure starts early. Progress for women is a little too transactional. It’s stressful and painful.

  7. BlueSky says:

    I also wonder if they are trying to send a message to JD that his campaign is not going to work and he needs to stop. Doubt it will happen as he seems determined to punish her.

    • Mia4s says:

      It wouldn’t matter in the slightest, mostly due to the people he has around him. The thing is “Depp” is not coordinating any of this online stuff, just read the articles that came out about his weird posse of advisors and handlers. They tell him it’s a good idea and spend his money. He wanders around in a self-righteous, alcohol and drug haze. Had he not started all this legal nonsense, he could have recovered his career. He genuinely could have; the public has a ridiculously short memory and Hollywood knows it. Good lord before the FKA Twigs lawsuit Marvel was meeting with Shia LaBoeuf about a role. Freaking MARVEL.

      The damaging nature of his team of enablers cannot be overstated. It’s honestly stunning.

  8. Lady Luna says:

    I’m glad she’s not getting fired. It really sucks how all the incels keep attacking her.

  9. Oh_Hey says:

    Eww. That’s all I have say about these boys and the few real weirdos smearing her. Amber isn’t a perfect victim but she shouldn’t need to be. She’ll never be my favorite actress but at least one court has already proven she’s told the truth and I wouldn’t be shocked if another follows suit. She’s not the proven abuser and shouldn’t be suffering job losses here

    • Case says:

      I think many people calling for Amber’s head miss that Depp brought this on himself. He’s the one who took The Sun to court and failed to prove that he didn’t abuse Amber. Her actions were not being judged and she did not ask for her private business to be aired during that case. If Depp had any sense he would’ve left it alone and kept his jobs but no, he had to throw a tantrum and continue abusing her by drawing attention to this again, which directly resulted in HIS job losses. He only has himself to blame for that.

  10. #facts says:

    These HW man child actors are on a roll. Alex Baldwin started back in the day, all the ones in between, to Brad Pitt and Depp.
    It’s a constant theme. Abusing and PR trying to cover it.

  11. Ariel says:

    The sh*t that depp has gotten away with doing to her, putting her through- it is monstrous.
    It’s textbook abuse, and society’s overall reaction has been textbook too- pointing out her flaws, how she *caused* the issues by not being the perfect victim.
    I know it was by accident – and depp 100% did it to himself (and PAID attys for this) but who knows a crappy tabloid would end up with reams of transcript that ended in a judge decreeing that the sun isn’t guilty because amber heard is believable, she did suffer and fear for her life and depp is a wife beater.

    And the bots and the misogynists troll on.

    And Ms Heard goes back to work, and has a new baby.

    And still has depp court in the US to have to deal with. He should have to pay for 100% of her atty fees.

  12. Lory says:

    I wonder why Safran didn’t come out earlier in support of Heard? He didn’t really say anything about it until asked in the podcast, but could have issued a statement when Heard was being harassed.

    • Lena says:

      I think the studio & Heard both have the strategy of just ignoring the online roar. But when the studio says it’ll never happen you’d think that would make some to give up. But haters gonna hate and with more passion than they love Dep.

    • sunhitsthesky says:

      I think the renewed focus was because Aquaman 2 just started filming. All the anti-Heard trolls were convinced she would be replaced and it just recently became clear that she wouldn’t be.

  13. Otaku fairy says:

    Good. It’s always refreshing when mras aren’t able to bully and smear their way into a desired outcome. They usually succeed.

    • Calypso says:

      Agreed! I’m struggling to think of another example, tbh, and I’m glad they’re sticking by Amber. The vitriol against her I see online is just so preposterous I don’t understand it.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree. I can’t say I’m really a fan of Amber as an actress, but I’m really, really glad to see them sticking by her and not caving in to the ranting mobs.

  14. Jo says:

    Let me tell you something. I’m an avid YouTube consumer (ok, addict). So I spend TIME on that app. The amount of anti Amber Heard vids that pop up on my feed is scary. Obviously it has nothing to do with my algorithms, everything I watch is very much on the opposite side of the spectrum… So … riddle me that. It’s pretty obvious there’s a campaign against her. It’s disgusting.

  15. Sigmund says:

    Good. She’s fine in the Aquaman film. (Not amazing, but that could be the writing.) she deserves happiness and success as much as anyone, and doesn’t deserve to have Depp and his paid bot followers harassing her the rest of her life.

  16. The Artist Formerly Known as Valiantly Varnished says:

    And their argument is that because Depp was fired (which they blame Amber for of course) then Amber should be too. They seem to not get that the ACTUAL reason he was fired is because of his drug and alcohol abuse and his behavior on set. He’s a liability. Lots of abusers still get to work in Hollywood.

  17. Grant says:

    Dude, you can’t go on any thread on Reddit that includes Amber Heard’s name without seeing an overwhelming deluge of hate directed her way. They say she’s an abuser,etc. etc. but it’s basically misogyny thinly veiled as men’s rights activism (what does that even mean? What did I even type?!)…

  18. Ihatestupidpeople says:

    This is textbook abuser antics. Anyone with a little bit of knowledge can see through this.

  19. Wolfie88 says:

    The studio doesn’t have to listen to fans now. Until it’s box office time and this mess flops like a dying fish.

    • sunhitsthesky says:

      Ok. The first one is the highest grossing DCEU film. I’m sure they are so scared of missing out on those incel dollars.

  20. FF says:

    I worry that she’s going to have deal with Depp’s abuse tactics for as long as he lives. He pretty much proved with his behaviour post-divorce that he’s exactly the abuser she said he was.

    It kicked up a gear the minute Aquaman became a potential, viable money-making franchise. Suddenly it was lawsuit o’clock from him, because God forbid she have her own income after leaving him.

    A lot of the Hollywood leading men/heartthrobs of the past seem unable to deal with their younger partners leaving them and/or defending themselves legally.

    I get the feeling HW in genaral is peturbed by how little the new generation is in thrall to them. Bots seem to be the weapon of choice on that front.

  21. Gobo says:

    I wonder if WB look at digital analytics before responding to “fan” crap online. Especially after Disney’s firing/rehiring of James Gunn, and other online “fan” led missteps in the Star Wars franchise.

  22. Shanaynay says:

    I don’t think she should be fired. Personally, though, I really don’t think she’s such a great actress.