Amber Heard asserts that her role in the Aquaman sequel was diminished due to Johnny Depp's accusations that her allegations of domestic violence were a "hoax."
The 36-year-old actress testified on Monday that her reputation and career "took a hit" due to Depp's public attacks on her character. Depp, 58, filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in March 2019, claiming that her December 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic abuse harmed his career chances while not mentioning him by name.
Heard, who is countersuing Depp for $100 million for slander, claimed that her role as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the female lead opposite Jason Momoa's Aquaman, was significantly decreased due to negative press. (The picture starring Heard has already been shot and will be released in March 2023.)
Heard was able to "hoax," after filing for a divorce and domestic violence restraining order in May 2016, before Depp's attorneys publicly labeled her abuse claims a "get my life back on track" The first Aquaman film was released in December 2018 and grossed moreover $1 billion globally.
She stated, "The trajectory was positive,"
Heard said that she has a three-film contract to play Mera, beginning with 2017's Justice League and that her salary will increase with each successive DC film. According to the papers shown in court, she was paid $1 million upfront for Aquaman and $2 million for the sequel, with potential box office bonuses for both.
However, once the "hoax" comments made news, "the communication stopped" between Warner Bros. and Heard regarding Aquaman 2 scheduling and production. According to Heard, her involvement in the sequel was finally "very pared down."
"I battled very hard to remain in the film. Nobody wanted to put me in the film "Witnessed testified.
"I was given a script and then given revised copies of the script that omitted sections depicting action between my character and another character — without giving away any spoilers — two characters fighting, and my role was much reduced. They just removed a number of items "She continued.
During the current trial in Fairfax, Virginia, where Heard has testified about "vitriol from Johnny Depp supporters." a lengthy fan petition to get Heard pulled from the next Aquaman film has topped 4.2 million online signatures.
Heard told Entertainment Weekly in November 2020 that speculations she would not return for the sequel Aquaman were false. "I am ecstatic about the amount of fan love and fan admiration Aquaman has received, as well as the fact that it has generated so much enthusiasm for Aquaman and Mera, which means we will be returning. I cannot wait to film that."
Depp also lost his widely publicized U.K. libel action against British newspaper The Sun for branding him a "wife-beater." in November 2020. The court found the publication's assertions to be "substantially true," and Heard's testimony supported the publication's claims. In March 2021, Depp's effort to reverse the verdict was rejected.
After losing the libel action, Depp revealed that he would be leaving the Fantastic Beasts franchise for Warner Bros. Later, Mads Mikkelsen replaced him as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which debuted in theaters last month with the lowest box office performance of the Harry Potter franchise.
Peter Safran, the producer of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, told Deadline in July that the production would never "going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure" to remove Heard entirely. "You must act in the best interest of the film. We felt that if it was James Wan and Jason Momoa, then Amber Heard should be cast. Indeed, that's what it was, "he said.
Safran said, "One is aware of what is happening in the Twitter-verse, but it does not obligate one to react to it, accept it as gospel, or comply with their desires. You must do what is best for the film, and that is where we ultimately landed."
Jack Whigham, Depp's agent, stated that it has been "impossible" since Heard's op-ed to cast Depp in a major studio film. Alice in Wonderland is rumored to have forfeited a $22.5 million payout for a hypothetical sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, although no contract was ever formalized.
In a recent interview with the U.K.'s The Sunday Times, Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer provided an update on the franchise's planned sequel, stating that Johnny Depp is "not at this point" scheduled to appear in it. However, "the future is yet to be decided." Depp said, however, that he would not work with Disney again, even for $300 million.