More than four million people have signed a petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the 2023 sequel to Aquaman (2018), directed by James Wan.
Heard almost lost the role before her trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp began. Heard’s costar, Jason Momoa (Aquaman), reportedly fought to keep her as Mera in the film.
Related: The Washington Post Adds Disclaimer to Heard Op-Ed After Verdict In Depp Trial
During the trial between Amber Heard and Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) star Johnny Depp, insiders spread rumors that Heard had been nearly cut from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, with less than ten minutes of screen time.
On June 1, the Court found Heard defamed Depp by publicly accusing him of domestic abuse. The jury found that Depp proved Heard lied about her allegations. Heard owes Depp $15 million.
In Heard’s countersuit against Depp, the jury found that Depp’s former attorney, Adam Waldman, publicly defamed her. Depp owes Heard $2 million in compensatory damages.
Following the verdict, some outlets reported that Heard had been cut entirely from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Depp fans were thrilled as Depp’s career took a hit following Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse. He lost his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the next Pirates of the Caribbean film and Gellert Grindewald in the Harry Potter spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
However, reports from test screenings this week suggest the opposite. Some test audiences report that Heard’s screentime is around 20-25 minutes, more than double what earlier reports suggested. Twitter user @UndercoverCine, who reports on film news, wrote:
Just got a confirmation that the latest #Aquaman2 test screening that was held today still had Amber Heard from start to finish. Probably WB is testing the waters with the public now that the trial is over. Screentime approximately around 20-25 mins. #AquamanAndTheLostKingdom
Just got a confirmation that the latest #Aquaman2 test screening that was held today still had Amber Heard from start to finish. Probably WB is testing the waters with the public now that the trial is over.
Screentime approximately around 20-25 mins.#AquamanAndTheLostKingdom pic.twitter.com/DQlLOD3Wrv
— Undercover Audience (@UndercoverCine) June 8, 2022
Mr. Depp sued Ms. Heard for $50 million in a Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom after she wrote an Op-Ed for The Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Ms. Heard countersued Mr. Depp for $100 million, arguing that he “defamed her when his former lawyer released statements saying her allegations of abuse were a hoax.”
After the verdict, both Depp and Heard released public statements. In Heard’s statement, she referenced the libel trial Depp lost against The Sun in the United Kingdom in 2020 after they called him a “wife-beater.”
“I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly,” Heard wrote.
Depp, who was not present in the courtroom on June 1, thanked his fans for the support and wrote, “The jury gave me my life back.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom doesn’t hit theaters until 2023, but Inside the Magic will report any significant updates about the film and Amber Heard’s role as Mera.
What do you think about Warner Brothers keeping Heard’s role in Aquaman 2? Let us know in the comments.