Amber Heard was allegedly nearly recast in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom due to a “lack of chemistry” with her co-star Jason Momoa, the actress’ agent has claimed Warner Bros. told her.
Jessica Kovacevic, Heard’s agent, testified in a pre-recorded deposition at the Johnny Depp defamation trial on Thursday (May 19) that the production/distribution company cited that lack as a reason for possibly recasting her role, Entertainment Weekly reports. Representatives for Warner Bros. did not respond immediately to EW‘s comment request.
Kovacevic claimed that she shared Heard’s belief that Warner Bros. wanted to replace her as Mera amid a flurry of bad press surrounding the actress’ split from Depp in 2016.
While Warner Bros. never directly cited Heard’s split with Depp as a reason for her potential recasting, Kovacevic testified that, in her opinion, it didn’t “want to hire someone who has bad press”, adding that “no one wants that association”.
Heard previously testified that her role was “pared down” significantly from earlier iterations of the script. She remained in the film, which is due for release next March.
Last week (May 16) Heard told the court that she had to “fight really hard” to keep her roles in 2017’s Justice League and the first Aquaman film during Depp’s alleged “smear campaign” against her.
The actress testified that the “sophisticated PR machine” behind Depp plotted to label her a liar in the press, which she claims led to her being dropped from acting jobs and beauty sponsorships.
“I had to fight really hard to keep my career after I got my [restraining order against Depp],” Heard testified. “I lost opportunities. I got dropped from jobs and campaigns. I fought to keep my job and the biggest movie opportunity I had to date [with] Justice League with the option to [star in] Aquaman. I had to fight really hard to stay in Justice League because that was the time of the divorce.”
Heard added in her testimony that Warner Bros. “didn’t want to include me” in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom. When asked if she was “actively scheduling timing for filming” for Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom before Depp’s alleged smear campaign, Heard said yes. When asked about her involvement after Depp’s team called her a liar in the press, she said no: “The communications stopped at that point.”
The actress claimed in court: “I was given a script and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it, that depicted my character and another character, without giving any spoilers away, two characters fighting with one another, and they basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch out.”
She reportedly appears on screen for just 10 minutes, and her $2million (£1.58million) contract remained intact.
When Heard was asked if she’d been able to find work recently, Heard answered: “I have done one small independent film. I shot a film in Guatemala. It’s a small independent, meaning it doesn’t have distribution or anything; it’s a lower budget film that I had been attached to for many years called Into the Fire.”
Heard said was paid $65,000 (£51,000) for the role. With the success of Aquaman, Heard’s agent Kovacevic testified that her client should have been offered more endorsements and job opportunities, but has not been.
Depp is suing Heard for $50million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her alleged experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Although Heard didn’t mention Depp by name in the article, his lawyers argue that references to Depp are obvious and have damaged his career and reputation.
Heard has filed a $100million countersuit, claiming that Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false. The trial continues.
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom is scheduled to be released in cinemas on March 17, 2023.