The Fall Guy viewers take issue with ‘distasteful’ Johnny Depp-Amber Heard joke

The line in question is spoken by Hannah Waddingham’s character

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 23 April 2024 10:26 BST
The Fall Guys Trailer

Early viewers of Ryan Gosling’s new film The Fall Guy have complained about a certain joke in the movie making reference to Amber Heard and Johnny Depp.

Out in cinemas next month, The Fall Guy stars Gosling as Colt Seavers, a down-and-out stuntman who must track down the missing star of his director ex-girlfriend’s blockbuster film.

The action-comedy stars Gosling opposite Emily Blunt, Teresa Palmer, Hannah Wadingham, Winston Duke, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the actor who is rumoured to be the next James Bond.

Although the film is not out for another couple of weeks, some people, including critics and journalists, have attended preview screenings of the movie and are sharing their reactions on Twitter.

One moment appears to have fallen flat with viewers, however, who have criticised the joke as “unpleasant”.

The joke in question is spoken by Hannah Waddingham’s character as she walks into a trailer, which is in disarray after a fight has taken place.

“It’s like Amber and Johnny were just in here,” she says, in reference to the notorious relationship between the actors who were married between 2015 and 2017.

The Fall Guy was just kind of cringe and smug until the weird j*hnny and a*ber joke, then it was unpleasant,” wrote one journalist on X/Twitter. “2024 and we’re putting dv [domestic violence] jokes into our action comedies I guess!”

2024 SXSW - "The Fall Guy"
2024 SXSW - "The Fall Guy" (2024 Invision)

Another added: “God that took me out of the movie so badly when I watched it, there was truly no reason whatsoever to say it I almost thought I’d misheard. Embarrassing for everyone involved.”

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Fans were similarily shocked to learn of the joke’s inclusion in the movie.

“Extremely lame if they’re actually spending a quick moment in The Fall Guy trying to poke fun at Heard/Depp,” said one person.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Someone else wrote that the “heads up” had caused their “excitement for Fall Guy to plummet”.

The Independent has contacted a represenative for the film’s writer, Drew Pearce, for comment.

In recent years, Depp and Heard, who married in 2015 and divorced two years later, have been embroiled in a number of high-profile legal cases.

In 2020, Johnny Depp lost a libel against The Sun, having sued the tabloid for referring to him as a “wife-beater”.

(Getty Images)

Judge Justice Nicol in the High Court found what the newspaper had printed to be “substantially true”, and said 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence were proven to have occurred.

In 2022, Depp sued Heard for defamation, after she implied that he had abused her in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

After six weeks in court, the jury ultimately ruled in Depp’s favour, awarding him $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages.

The Fall Guy will be released in cinemas on 2 May 2024.

The national domestic abuse helpline offers support for women on 0808 2000 247, or you can visit the Refuge website. There is a dedicated men’s advice line on 0808 8010 327. Those in the US can call the domestic violence hotline on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Other international helplines can be found via

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