While a lot of details are still unknown surrounding Aquaman 2, the DC Comics-inspired film has sparked quite a lot of speculation. Some of that speculation has gone into a controversial direction with regards to star Amber Heard, with pockets of social media campaigning for her to be removed from the sequel, amid her ongoing legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp. That speculation kicked up again after confirmation that Depp was stepping down from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, reportedly due to a change in studio executives at Warner Bros. Seeing as the Aquaman franchise is also made by the same studio, there has been some speculation that Heard should step down as well -- but according to new comments from the actress, that won't be the case.
"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," Heard told Entertainment Weekly. "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," Heard added. "Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I'm excited to get started next year."
The recent rumors surrounding Heard's future came amid a verdict in Depp's libel lawsuit surrounding The Sun newspaper, which was centered around allegations of Depp's abusive behavior towards Heard. A judge eventually ruled that the newspaper's reporting against Depp was "substantially true".
"Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court," a spokesperson for The Sun said in a statement when the trial reached a verdict.
Heard has been candid about how her comments surrounding domestic and sexual violence have negatively impacted her role in the entertainment industry, detailing attempts to blacklist her in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.
"Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted," Heard wrote at the time. "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."
Aquaman 2 does not currently have a release date.