Fox Entertainment’s free streaming service, Tubi, is adapting the highly divisive defamation trial between ex-couple, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, into a movie in conjunction with MarVista Entertainment.
Here's what Adam Lewinson, Tubi’s chief content officer, had to say about the project:
Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial has 'Hot Take' in the title for a reason. With our partners at MarVista, this Tubi Original was fast-tracked into production to capture a timely take on a story that became part of the cultural zeitgeist, painting a unique picture of what millions watched play out in the headlines over the summer.
The film will chronicle the disastrous relationship between Depp and Heard and culminate in the two-months trial which concluded on June 1 earlier this year. Depp filed the lawsuit against his ex-wife based on three statements she made in a Washington Post op-ed she wrote in 2018 where she portrayed herself as a domestic abuse victim at his hands. In return, Heard filed a countersuit where she also claimed defamation concerning three statements Depp’s lawyer made about her, which were published in the British tabloid, Daily Mail.
The seven-person jury at the trial found Heard guilty of malicious defamation in the three statements Depp tendered. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. However, the presiding judge reduced the $5 million charge for punitive damages to $350,000 in line with Virginia’s statutory cap. Also, the jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages after determining that one of the three statements made by Depp’s lawyer was defamatory.
Following the verdict, Heard’s team filed an appeal after the court denied their motion for a mistrial.
According to Heard’s spokesperson, their party believes that "the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the First Amendment." Heard has hired a new legal team to represent her interests.
Hannah Pillemer, MarVista’s executive vice president of creative affairs said, "Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial is one of many timely, culturally relevant original movies to come from our expanding partnership and slate of movies being produced in collaboration with Tubi. Connecting viewers to stories with this kind of social currency and topicality make watching them a must for any fan of pop culture or celebrity drama."
The upcoming movie will star Mark Hapka, from Parallels and Days of Our Lives, as Johnny Depp and Megan Davis, who has previously starred in Alone in the Dark, as Amber Heard. Other members of the cast include Melissa Marty from Station 19 as Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez and Mary Carrig from Law & Order True Crime as Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft.
Finally, Guy Nicolucci of The Daily Show fame will write the script with Sara Lohman, who served as the director of Secrets in the Woods, directing the film. Fox will release it exclusively on Tubi on Friday, September 30.
In other news, many Johnny Depp fans have signed petitions requesting that Disney should reinstate the actor in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. On the other hand, millions of people signed a Change.org petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 - and this was even before the trial ended.