Amber Heard would have lost ‘Aquaman 2' role, but Jason Momoa was ADAMANT she remain in it!
New testimony in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial alleged that Jason Momoa wanted Amber Heard to reprise her role as Mera in ‘Aquaman 2.' According to industry consultant and former producer Kathryn Arnold, Momoa and ‘Aquaman’ director, James Wan committed to Heard and was adamant to have her in the film.
Arnold appeared to claim that Momoa and Wan shared a similar view in an email during her evidence, but Depp's legal team promptly cut her off, claiming hearsay, an objection the judge sustained. Arnold also claimed that the studio behind 'Aquaman' wasn't keen on Heard returning to the series and that she was only able to land a role in the sequel due to the advocacy from Momoa, Wan, and Heard’s own management team.
Heard's reputation in Hollywood had become 'extremely toxic' by the time 'Aquaman 2' was in the process, according to Arnold, thanks to comments made by Depp's former attorney Adam Waldman, who called Heard's abuse allegations a ‘hoax.’ Arnold said, “People in Hollywood like [Amber’s] work but they can’t work with her because every time her name is mentioned the negativity flares up again.” She went on to say that hiring Heard doesn't make sense for studios and producers adding, “Her world has been silent in terms of opportunities.”
According to Daily Mail, Arnold also told the court that the original script for ‘Aquaman 2’ included a ‘strong romantic arc in the entire film and some great action sequences’ echoing remarks made by the actress about her part in the DC comics sequel being considerably reduced. According to Arnold, Heard had started training five hours a day so she could execute the action sequences when she received word from a costume designer that her role had been diminished, with the action sequence taken out and her role was radically reduced.
Arnold then went on to refute media rumors that Heard's part was drastically decreased due to an alleged lack of chemistry with Momoa. When it came to the claimed financial harm caused by Waldman's comments, Arnold pointed out that although Momoa's contract was renegotiated from $3 million to $15 million for the sequel, Heard was only paid $2 million as specified in her original contract. Arnold believes Heard could have renegotiated her fee to as much as $6 million US had she not been maligned by Waldman. Moreover, Arnold also estimated that Heard lost $45 to $50 million in revenues as a result of Waldman's remarks, including income from film and television appearances as well as commercial relationships like the one she had with L'Oreal.
Depp is currently suing Heard for defamation over an op-ed she published in the Washington Post in 2018 in which she claimed she was a victim of sexual violence. Although she didn't mention Depp by name in the essay, Depp’s legal team claimed the article led to the image and career progression loss for the actor. Depp is suing for $50 million in damages, whereas Heard has countersued the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor for $100 million.