Hundreds of thousands of people clearly don't want to see Amber Heard return as Mera in Aquaman 2, and a new fan petition is looking to have her replaced with Emilia Clarke. In the petition's description at Change.org, the author says Heard should be fired from the sequel after she allegedly "falsely accused Johnny Depp of abusing her when it turns out she is the abuser herself" and should be "punished accordingly." None of this has ever been proven in a court of law. As of this writing, the petition has almost reached its initial goal of 2,500 signatures, and the number continues to rise.
This isn't the first petition aiming to remove Heard from the DCEU, as a previous version merely called for her firing with no recommended replacement. With a goal of 500,000 signatures, the petition currently has nearly 375,000 people on board. Perhaps it is believed that the chances of having Heard fired will be increased if a strong enough casting choice was suggested to replace her, and Emilia Clarke seems to fit that bill. Not only does she have a squeaky clean history with no public allegations of domestic abuse, Clarke also has great chemistry with Aquaman star Jason Momoa as seen during their time together on Game of Thrones.
The backlash against Amber Heard stems from the messy relationship and subsequent divorce with her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. At the height of the #MeToo movement, Heard made headlines when she publicly alleged that Depp had been physically and verbally abusive to her throughout most of their marriage. Soon after, Depp was reportedly fired by Disney from his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series as his reputation was severely tarnished. Denying the allegations, Johnny Depp would respond by suing Amber Heard for defamation to the tune of $50 million.
As a part of the lawsuit, Depp claims Heard was in fact the physically abusive one, alleging she'd attacked him several times and even severed his finger on one occasion with a shattered vodka bottle. Earlier this year, Depp released audio recordings of conversations he'd had with Heard which appeared to corroborate his version of the story. In the audio, Heard can alledgedly be heard admitting to striking Depp and even pelting him with pots and pans. Another clip has Heard allegedly telling Depp nobody would ever believe him if he were to speak of her harming him.
With this new evidence coming to light, there has been tremendous backlash against Heard, with social media movements calling for Heard to be fired from both Aquaman 2 and her role as a spokesperson for L'Oreal. The hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp also quickly went viral on social media after the release of the audio recordings. Despite the controversy, however, it doesn't seem likely Heard will be given her walking papers. With no official response amid the controversy, Warner Bros. seems to be ignoring the situation entirely, and ScreenGeek reports L'Oreal continues to run Heard's social media pages and are "very fond of her."
It remains to be seen if Heard's involvement in Aquaman 2 will prevent the movie from reaching the same levels of success as the original, which topped a billion dollars at the box office. The petitions to remove her may ultimately fail, but at the very least, perhaps Depp making his side of the story public might lead to a return to the Pirates of the Caribbean series. You can check out the petition to replace Heard with Emilia Clarke in Aquaman 2 at Change.org.