An unbelievable 4.6 MILLION fans have now signed the petition asking Warner Bros to fire Amber Heard from the Aquaman franchise. And for a moment on Tuesday it looked like they got their wish!
Rumors went viral on Tuesday that a source inside the studio claimed that in the wake of the Johnny Depp verdict — in which the jury determined she had acted in malice and defamed the actor with abuse allegations — the role of Princess Mera was being recast!
Whoa! Amber’s part had already been filmed. She’s already been paid. But according to these rumors, the results of test-screenings were SO NEGATIVE toward the controversial actress that they were going to eat that loss and reshoot anyway?!
The viral rumors also claimed that a new actress, presumably an Amber Heard type (paging Teresa Palmer‘s agents!), would play Mera not just in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom but in any future DCEU films as well. She previously appeared in Justice League and would presumably make an appearance if they ever make a second one.
These rumors could not be confirmed by any of the sources of industry trades like Deadline or Variety, who usually have the inside track on these things. And since the story exploded across the internet, Amber herself has spoken out! A rep told several outlets in a biting statement:
“The rumor mill continues as it has from day one — inaccurate, insensitive, and slightly insane.”
It’s obviously quite possible this rumor is completely inaccurate. However, insane feels a bit too far. Actors have been fired on less evidence of abuse and replaced in the face of far less outcry than the aforementioned 4.6 million-signature petition. And considering the ramped up vitriol we’ve seen directed towards Amber in the days since the verdict, the idea that several folks in early Aquaman screenings might write negative reviews of her in their score cards is actually pretty believable. We’re not saying that would be fair. It just seems believable given all the negative attention going her way.
Heck, even Savannah Guthrie went pretty hard at Heard on the Today show. In a preview of Friday’s interview, the morning show anchor can be seen grilling Amber on the audio tapes in which she admits to starting fights and even physically abusing Johnny. Guthrie pushes:
“I’m looking at a transcript where he says, ‘You start physical fights’ and you said, ‘I did start a physical fight. I can’t say I won’t start one again.’ This is in black and white. I understand context, but you testified you never started a physical fight and here you are on tape saying you did.”
“As I testified on the stand, when your life is at risk, not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for, but when you’re in an abusive dynamic — psychologically, emotionally, and physically — you don’t have the resources that say you or I do with the luxury of saying, ‘This is black and white’ because it’s anything but when you’re living in it.”
At the end of the day, the jury clearly didn’t believe her. And obviously a lot of folks online didn’t either.
Did Warner Bros really weigh those reactions and take action? We’ll just have to wait until WB makes it official, one way or the other. Something tells us there are a lot of folks out there who aren’t going to take Amber’s word for it.
[Image via Warner Bros/HBO Max/Law&Crime Network/YouTube.]