Depp's fans started a petition to remove her from the sequel. The petition recieved over a million signatures.
Following the loss of his libel suit where he was branded as a "wife-beater," by a tabloid in 2018, Johnny Depp was requested to resign from the studio from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. His fans started a petition that is gaining momentum (it has received more than a million signatures) to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2. According to the Independent, Heard has criticized the "paid rumors and paid campaigns" to remove her from the sequel. The actress, who played the role of warrior Mera in James Wan’s 2018 DC film has been the subject of wide speculation regarding her being a part of the sequel.
In reference to the change.org petition, the actor told Entertainment Weekly, "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. I'm so excited to film that.. 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." The actor also added that hopefully, the production will start sometime in 2021.
Having said that, it's important to remember that Aquaman 2 is not yet officially greenlit by the studio; neither the cast been confirmed nor when production will start given the current ongoing pandemic. Depp lost his libel case against The Sun, after the newspaper described him as a wife-beater in a now-unpublished article, claiming he was abusive towards his now ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Over 1M people have signed a petition to remove Amber Heard from 'Aquaman 2' pic.twitter.com/mA06sMVA6y— Fandom (@getFANDOM) November 12, 2020
Depp has maintained his innocence and has promised to keep on fighting until he gets justice. He also shared a statement on his Instagram account explaining he had been asked to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and he has gracefully accepted the request. He wrote: The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change any fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Later on, it was confirmed that Depp would receive his full salary for his role in the third film, even though he has shot only one scene after the production resumed in September.
The actress addresses those replacement rumors and says 'Aquaman 2' hopes to begin filming next year. https://t.co/PXvAeyUT0K— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 12, 2020
In January, an audiotape was presented in the trial where Heard admitted "hitting" Depp. However, earlier this month, a judge dismissed the claims, ruling that the newspaper's allegation against Depp was "substantially true." Heard, too, admitted that she had lost work because she was vocal about sexual violence. In a 2018 op-ed, she wrote, "Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me."
I found a new person who should replace Amber Heard for Aquaman 2 pic.twitter.com/O2dosnSPnP— Haydn (@Haydn_E99) November 17, 2020
Heard will be seen next in the new adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel The Stand, where she will essay the role of Nadine Cross, a pandemic survivor, who has a dark destiny attached to her. Check out the video below.