Amber Heard isn’t leaving the DC Comics universe. The actress confirmed she’ll return for Aquaman 2, despite social media campaigns calling for her removal. Heard plays warrior Mera alongside Jason Momoa in the Warner Bros. film. The news follows the studio’s decision to ask Johnny Depp to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise after a judge ruled it’s “substantially true” he abused Heard.
“I’m super excited about the amount of fan love and the amount of fan appreciation that Aquaman has acquired and that it has garnered so much excitement for Aquaman and Mera that it means we’ll be coming back,” Heard told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m so excited to film that.”
Heard and Depp split in 2016 with each star accusing the other of domestic violence. In the wake of their messy divorce, a petition was launched demanding Heard be removed from the Aquaman sequel. “She has systematically crusaded to ruin Depp in Hollywood, repeating multiple accounts of fake incidents in which she had actually abused Johnny Depp, but lied and created false accounts of him being the abuser,” the Change.org petition reads. It has over 1.2 million signatures.
Heard dismissed such campaigns as propaganda.
“Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality,” Heard added to EW. “Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”
In a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post, Heard wrote about being an abuse survivor — although she never named Depp — and what it cost her to come forward.
“Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman,” she penned. “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Depp has vehemently denied Heard’s claims and is suing her for $50 million for defamation over that op-ed. However, he was just dealt a big legal blow in a different case.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star sued News Group Newspapers (NGN), owner of the Sun, over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater.” Heard testified for the defense about 14 alleged instances of abuse and Depp ultimately lost. The actor plans to appeal.
Depp addressed the “surreal judgment” in his announcement that he will no longer be part of the third Fantastic Beasts film. “My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false,” he wrote. “My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
As for Aquaman 2, EW noted that Warner Bros. has not officially greenlit the sequel, the cast is not confirmed and it does not have an announced start date. Heard said she believes production will get underway in 2021.