In an exclusive to Deadline, Aquaman 2 producer Peter Safran said they would not replace Amber Heard as "Mera" despite a massive fan campaign for her removal. In November 2020, followers mobilized to support Johnny Depp after his firing from "Fantastic Beasts 3."
In several tweets targeted towards Warner Bros., fans called out their double standards about replacing Depp and not Heard.
In June 2021, the campaign for Amber Heard's removal from the sequel gained traction after director James Wan shared a snap from the first day of production. "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" faced severe backlash and boycott threats from fans for the inclusion of Heard, set to reprise the role of Mera.
Last week, fan campaigns to remove Amber Heard as Mera were again trending on social media. Fans were inspired to voice their opinions after YouTuber Stryder HD uploaded a "deep fake" video of "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke as Mera.
Aquaman 2 producer shuts down any hopes for fans wanting the removal of Amber Heard as "Mera" in the sequel
On July 29th, in a Deadline podcast, Peter Safran defended WB's choice not to replace Heard in DCEU's Aquaman 2.
The Warner Bros. producer said:
"I don't think we're ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You have to 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 [fans'] wishes."
Fans reaction to Peter Safran's comments
After the news of Safran's clarification regarding not replacing Heard broke out, fans started trending"#BoycottAquaman again.
The main controversy
The controversy originated in 2016 when 35-year-old Heard alleged that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star abused and assaulted her. This was followed by a long and ongoing lawsuit that resulted in Depp losing out on several major roles, including the "Harry Potter" spin-off, "Fantastic Beasts."
In January 2020, phone recordings were released where Amber Heard admitted to "hitting" Johnny Depo. This enraged fans as Warner Bros. decided to replace him as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 with Mads Mikkelsen.
A Change.org petition campaigning for Amber Heard's removal from the sequel has garnered over 1.8 million signatures so far.
Aquaman, released in 2018, grossed over $1.1 billion in the global box office. However, WB seems confident that the possible "boycott" will not affect Aquaman 2's performance.