An online petition calling on Warner Bros. to remove Amber Heard from the upcoming comic book tentpole “Aquaman 2” has garnered over 1.6 million signatures and is fast approaching the 2 million mark (via Deadline). The petition gained traction over the holiday weekend after Warner Bros. confirmed Mads Mikkelsen would be replacing Johnny Depp as the villainous Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts 3.” IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for further comment.
Depp announced in a November 6 Instagram post he was exiting the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise at the request of Warner Bros. following the end of his libel case against The Sun. The judge in the case sided with the publication, which referred to Depp as a “wife beater” in a story detailing his marriage with Heard. The petition to remove Heard from “Aquaman 2″ alleges the actress is a “known and proven domestic abuser,” and thus the studio should request her exit if they did the same for Depp and “Fantastic Beasts.”
“Aquaman 2” is set to reunite Heard with Jason Momoa and director James Wan. Unconfirmed reports have circulated social media in recent months claiming Heard would not be returning to the comic book franchise given the drama surrounding Depp’s trial, but the actress put those rumors to bed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this month.
“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 said. “I’m so excited to film that.”
The actress added, “Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality. Only the fans actually made ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Aquaman 2’ happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”
Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce “Aquaman 2.” Neither a release date or a production start date has been confirmed. The studio opened the first “Aquaman” film in 2018 to positive buzz and over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The movie was the first title in the studio’s DC Extended Universe to cross the billion dollar mark.