“The most unserious casting decisions I’ve ever seen”: Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial movie mercilessly trolled online amid growing backlash 

Tubi’s film on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s highly publicized defamation trial, titled Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial, recently released its official trailer, sparking outrage on social media. It stars Mark Hapka as Depp and Megan Davis as Heard.

While some called out the film for sensationalizing a real-life court case and “exploiting” the traumas of real people for “entertainment,” others trolled the project over casting choices:

it is disturbing that people are allowed to make movies and shows out of real life cases and exploit victims’ trauma for entertainment and profit https://t.co/Sx0pDMEBoa

Fan reaction for 'Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial' casting (Image via Twitter)
Fan reaction for ‘Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial’ casting (Image via Twitter)

In the trailer, Hapka is seen flaunting a goatee, ponytail, and sunglasses to mirror Depp’s signature look throughout the trial. Meanwhile, Davis is seen donning outfits resembling Heard’s wardrobe during the same period.

The newly released clip focuses on some of the major highlights from the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial. This includes a courtroom setting, intense social media scrutiny, and excerpts of Depp and Heard’s personal lives mentioned during the case.

The trailer also showcases the support Johnny Depp received from his fans during the trial, as a reporter can be heard saying in the background:

“It’s day one of the Depp vs. Heard defamation trial; though fans are showing support for both sides, there’s clearly a favorite here.”


In addition to Mark Hapka and Megan Davis, the film also stars Melissa Marty as Depp’s now-popular attorney Camille Vasquez and Mary Carrig as Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft.

Twitter reacts to Tubi’s Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial film

Netizens launched a petition to suspend the release of a TV movie based on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's trial (Image via Getty Images)
Netizens launched a petition to suspend the release of a TV movie based on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial (Image via Getty Images)

Nearly four months after Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial came to an end, Tubi announced that it had decided to present an onscreen adaptation of the court case.

The Depp vs. Heard trial was largely scrutinized on social media, and the film adaptation of the court case, called Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial, also earned opinionated reactions.

As the streaming platform released the film’s first trailer, netizens took to Twitter to criticize the plot and casting of the film:

Trailer for that low-budget Depp/Heard trial movie on Tubi looks HORRIBLE

Yesterday TUBI released a horrible trailer for their low budget “movie” about the Depp v Heard Trial.Today I give you Everything Wrong With The TUBI Movie. A THREAD ????. Plz Re-Tweet ????‍☠️ #DeppWon #Tubi https://t.co/bK5B3ppeBF

This casting shows their mentality so bad omg..Johnny Depp looked like this 15 years ago like plsss stop twitter.com/liliandaisies/…

the inherent way that these actors were cast to show a clear bias against amber heard is literally insane. They casted a woman that most are going to be as intimidating with her sharper features while casting a man with softer,freindly features. twitter.com/LeaveHeardAlon…

Depp and Amber have a 23 year difference and met when she was 22 and he was 45. Their age gap is crucial in understanding their power imbalance yet they casted a 40 year old man who looks younger than the actress playing Amber. https://t.co/BcJdey4sGj

Megan Davis looks older then Amber Heard and more importantly looks nothing like her, this is going to be horrible. twitter.com/liliandaisies/…

The new Tubi Depp V Heard movie looks so bad. Couldn’t they have least cast actors who looked like their counterparts ? Instead of Bootleg JD and Dollar Store Ambular. Yikes.

So tubi made a Depp vs heard movie. Like that was quick as hell. The girl playing heard don’t even look like amber maybe sounds like her a little. And the guy playing Johnny is like 30 something looking. It’s gotta be a spoof right? I’ll be seated tho. Love horrible tubi movies.

Several social media users also launched an online petition asking Tubi to suspend the release of the film. The petition, titled “Tubi: Do Not Release the ‘Hot Take: Depp v. Heard’ movie,” read:

“Given the sensitive material discussed in this case, including the dynamics of abuse, spousal r*pe, domestic violence, domestic abuse and substance abuse, there is a growing concern that this rush to release is focused more on controversy than on care and understanding.”

The petition noted that several experts have previously pointed out the “damage and potential damage” caused to victims and survivors of abuse from the Depp vs. Heard trial coverage. It also claimed that if the subject matter is handled “incorrectly” in the film, it will continue to “alienate survivors from resources.”

“Tubi: Do Not Release the ‘Hot Take: Depp v. Heard’ movie” petition (Image via Change)
“Tubi: Do Not Release the ‘Hot Take: Depp v. Heard’ movie” petition (Image via Change)

The petition argued that it is “far too soon” to make a film based on Depp and Heard’s legal issues. This is because the trial is “not a completely settled matter” and can be classified as an “ongoing” legal issue for both parties:

Please sign this petition to stop the Depp v. Heard movie that seeks to exploit the trial for money. Even JD fans with a conscience should sign. #AmberHeardDeservesAnApology Tubi: Do Not Release the ‘Hot Take: Depp v. Heard’ movie – Sign the Petition! chng.it/jFY7HV2P

Petition: I sincerely doubt that Tubi will pull the movie at this point, but signing it might make you feel better: change.org/TubiDeppHeard

203 have signed. Let’s get to 500! Tubi: Do Not Release the ‘Hot Take: Depp v. Heard’ movie – Sign the Petition! chng.it/RNK9pxZz via @Change

The Tubi original film is set to be released on September 30, 2022, and comes from Fox Entertainment’s MarVista Entertainment studio. It is produced by Autumn Federici and Kristifor Cvijetic and executive-produced by Brittany Clemons, Angie Day, Marianne C. Wunch, Hannah Pillemer, and Fernando Szew.

Sara Lohman served as the director of the film, while The Daily Show‘s Guy Nicolucci was the scriptwriter.


The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial began after the former sued his ex-wife for $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed where she dubbed herself a domestic abuse victim.

The trial ended in June after nearly six weeks of deliberations at a Virginia court, with Depp being ruled the winner by a seven-body jury. The court ruled that Heard defamed Depp through her article and ordered her to pay $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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