The sensationalised court case that had the entire world on the edge of its seat for months has been adapted for the small screen as a scripted movie. We’re not saying that the raw, real-life footage of the trial was enough fodder for the audience, and a dramatised enactment of the same, where actors cosplay actors is unnecessary, but we’re not, not saying it either. It’s for the viewers to decide whether we need one more Amber Heard describing how her dog ate a bee, am I right?
Titled as Hot Take: The Depp Heard Trial, Tubi, an ad-supported, free content and streaming platform, released the official trailer of the fictionalised rendition of the infamous and very public $50 million defamation trial actors and exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard went through a few months ago. Starring Mark Hapka as Depp and Megan Davis as Heard, the movie is set to premiere on Friday, 30 September on Tubi.
If the trailer is anything to go by, it seems like the makers are keen on presenting both sides of the story and even include snippets from when the formerly married couple was still together. It also attempts to cover the happenings leading up to the controversial domestic abuse accusations by Heard and the consequent defamation lawsuit filed by Depp. “This is not life—no one should have to go through this,” the reduced-to-a-caricature Depp says in the trailer in all his signature pulled-back and pony-tailed hair glory. While Heard says, “I have the right to say what happened to me,” morosely. Dramatic, much?
The trailer also nods to the public mocking of Heard’s viral and seemingly ‘fake’ emotional testimony which literally gave birth to TikTok stars mimicking the Aquaman star’s pleas. “Girl just wants some attention!” opines a social-media comment section warrior in the snippet. Hot Take also stars Melissa Marty as Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez and Mary Carrig as Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft.
Dubbed ‘the most-watched trial of the year,’ Tubi explores the couple’s torturous journey which began with Heard hinting at domestic violence allegations against her ex-husband by releasing an op-ed piece in the Washington Post in 2018. While Depp’s name wasn’t mentioned directly, the article caused a furore and their divorce kept grabbing news headlines. The actress initially garnered a lot of support from industry colleagues and the general public leaving Depp’s meticulously-earned career and image in shambles.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star lost out on many projects and brand deals after the conjectures became public. All this led to Depp filing a defamation lawsuit against Heard that claimed that her allegations were false. The actor finally won the case with the jury’s unanimous support and he was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The people were cheering on and heavily supporting Depp online for the duration of the trial, and even celebrated the long-awaited verdict and his resurrected public image.
In partnership with Fox Entertainment’s MarVista Entertainment, Tubi accelerated the production of the original movie with an aim “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,” as per a statement by Tubi chief content officer Adam Lewinson.
The movie is written by Guy Nicolucci, directed by Sara Lohman and executive produced by Brittany Clemons, Angie Day, Marianne C. Wunch, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew, with Autumn Federici and Kristifor Cvijetic serving as producers under their Ninth House banner.
Watch the trailer for Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial below.