‘Aquaman’ Producer Speaks on Johnny Depp Fans’ Campaign to Have Amber Heard Removed From Franchise

'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' producer Peter Safran addressed Johnny Depp fans' campaign calling for Amber Heard’s removal from the franchise.

Johnny Depp

Photo By David Zorrakino via Getty Images

Johnny Depp

On the latest episode of Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer Peter Safran denied rumors that a social media campaign by Johnny Depp fans calling for Amber Heard’s removal from the upcoming sequel had any influence on his casting decisions. 

“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure,” Safran said. “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.”

“One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitterverse,” Safran continued, “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.”

The comments come just a month after director James Wan announced on Instagram that the highly anticipated sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently in production.

Back in June, the award-winning filmmaker took to Instagram to share a couple of photos from the film’s production meeting. The firs was a shot of his computer screen that revealed the sequel’s official title: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

“The tide is rising,” he captioned the photo, which was reshared by Warner Bros.

The first Aquaman premiered in 2018 and grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing movie in the DCEU. Wan and Safran will produce the flick, with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick returning as the writer. Momoa will of course reprise his role as the titular superhero, alongside returning stars Heard and Patrick Wilson.

The news comes months after Johnny Depp was denied appeal in his libel case against the publisher of tabloid the Sun. Depp took News Group Newspapers to court after the tabloid called him a “wife beater” when reporting on allegations of domestic abuse, which were leveled at him by his then-wife Amber Heard. A judge ruled that labeling him a “wife beater” was fair because the accusation was “substantially true.” Depp’s lawyer Joelle Rich told Deadline she “seriously questioned” the court’s decision, and Depp will now focus on his defamation trial in the U.S. against Heard next year.

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