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Aquaman producer Peter Safran says they never considered making the sequel without Amber Heard.

The 35-year-old actress has been embroiled in legal battles with former husband Johnny Depp and a social media campaign from fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean star called for her to be removed from the role of Mera in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Safran, who's also the producer of The Suicide Squad, has insisted that Heard's removal from the flick was not an option as they wanted to do "what's best for the movie".

Speaking on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast, he said: "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 [director] James Wan, and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That's really what it was."

Safran continued: "One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn't mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes.

"You have to do what's right for the film, and that's really where we landed on it."

Heard had previously responded to calls to axe her from the movie by saying the project wouldn't be affected by social media protests.

She told Entertainment Weekly last year: "Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don't dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality... Only the fans made 'Aquaman' and 'Aquaman 2' happen. I'm excited to get started next year."

The new Aquaman movie is currently in production and is slated for release Dec 2022 with Momoa reprising the title role. The Suicide Squad opens in cinemas on Aug 5. — BANG SHOWBIZ

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