In the last week or so, it’s been practically impossible to have not seen or heard anything about the defamation trial currently underway in the US between former married couple, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
In case you somehow know nothing about the trial, essentially, Depp is suing Heard for defamation as she penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2018 that Depp claims ruined his career.
This is because the article is about Heard’s experience with domestic abuse and it’s Depp’s belief that the article – although it never mentions him by name – alludes that Depp was violent and abusive towards Heard. Depp maintains he never abused Heard; in fact, he claims she abused him.
It’s been a messy case, to say the least, but one of the main issues, since this whole debacle began, is the legions and legions of Depp fans who believe the film production company, Warner Bros. has been extremely hypocritical.
Why? Well, because back in 2020, Warner Bros. essentially fired Depp from the third Fantastic Beasts film because of all the controversy surrounding him but didn’t fire Heard from the Aquaman sequel, despite there being a fair amount of controversy surrounding her too; you can read more about this here.
Since then, fans have demanded Warner Bros. fire Heard through both social media campaigns and a change.org petition – which now has nearly three million signatures – but it was seemingly to no avail. In 2021, when Aquaman 2 producer, Peter Safran was asked whether Heard would be fired during an episode of the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, he replied:
“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. 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.”
However, now it looks like Warner Bros. may have succumbed somewhat to that ‘fan pressure’, as Safran put it. According to a Tweet from Grace Randolph, an American film critic, Heard will have less than ten minutes of screen time in the Aquaman sequel.
Of course, maybe Heard was always only going to have ten minutes of screen time – but this would be odd as she does play the titular character’s love interest and was heavily featured in the first Aquaman film.
Many are speculating that Warner Bros. has deliberately cut Heard’s role to the bare minimum after all the bad press Heard received after the trial began just a few weeks ago. One Twitter user wrote, “I wonder if that was the plan from the start of that is what her role was reduced to after everything that’s happened?” while another simply commented, “damage control?”
Many other Twitter users chimed in saying that even if Warner Bros have deliberately cut down Heard’s screen time, they’re, firstly, still not interested in seeing Aquaman 2 because she’s still in it, and, secondly, why didn’t they just recast her role?
One Twitter user wrote, “10 minutes too much”, while another questioned, “If it truly is less than 10 minutes, shouldn’t they just reshoot her scenes?” Twitter user FFKBullets wrote, “I don’t care I am not seeing this damn movie as long as [Heard] is in it.”
Only time will tell whether the Aquaman sequel does only feature Heard onscreen for only ten minutes; and we may never know whether her role was severely reduced due to the ongoing legal battle between her and her ex-husband, Depp.