Johnny Depp fans’ campaign to have Amber Heard axed from Aquaman 2 never had an impact, says producer

‘You gotta do what’s best for the movie,’ said Peter Safran

Ellie Harrison
Friday 30 July 2021 13:21
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues

The producer of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Peter Safran, has said he would never react to fan pressure to remove Amber Heard from the franchise.

Heard’s role as Aquaman’s love interest Hera was at the centre of speculation last year following the launch of a petition to have her dropped from the forthcoming movie.

The petition, which received more than a million signatures, was set up by fans of Heard’s ex-husband Johnny Depp, and accused the actor of a “systematic crusade to ruin Depp in Hollywood”.

Heard has long accused Depp of domestic violence, something Depp has denied. After suing The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers and its executive editor Dan Wootton for referring to him as a “wife beater” in a column, Depp lost the case. A British judge declared that the claim was “substantially true”.

On the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, Safran was asked whether the campaign 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.”

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.”

In an interview last year, Heard addressed the protests against her by Depp fans.

“Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality,” she said. “Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”

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