We certainly know streaming service Tubi as a source for an absurd number of free streaming horror films, but who knew that their original content was aiming to give Lifetime a run for its money? That seems to be the goal, looking at the first trailer for a project as inherently gross as Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial, which lands on the service on Sept. 30, 2022. This is tackiness on a level we haven’t seen in recent memory, a blatant attempt to exploit a sensationalized personal conflict between movie stars as rapidly and clumsily as possible. Hell, the Tubi execs aren’t even afraid to admit as much.
“Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial has ‘Hot Take’ in the title for a reason,” said Adam Lewinson, Tubi’s chief content officer, in a statement. “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.”
Yeah, I’m sure that “timely take” will be full of nuance and empathy, right? Surely it will be, right? The film stars actors Mark Hapka and Megan Davis as Depp and Heard, with the former looking uncannily like Depp—albeit 20 years younger—and the latter looking not even vaguely anything like Amber Heard. It’s directed by Sara Lohman, from a script by Guy Nicolucci.
In the actual trial, exes Depp and Heard tore into each other about various allegations of defamation and slander, while hinting at various aspects of physical and sexual violence that they variously claim had occurred during their partnership. The jury ultimately sided largely with Depp, awarding him substantially larger compensatory and punitive damages, though the case continues to be litigated in the court of public opinion to this day. Regardless, it seems safe to say that the likes of Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial will primarily appeal to the lowest common denominator of consumer, those taking misanthropic joy at the painful personal entanglements of others. Feel free to enjoy the embarrassing trailer below.