‘Aquaman’ Director Says Sequel ‘Always’ Intended for Less Amber Heard Despite Her Claims from Trial

Director James Wan says the upcoming Aquaman the sequel should never have focused on Mera Amber Heard.

The actress, 37, reprises her role as a sea princess in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdombut during a defamation trial in Virginia with ex-husband Johnny Depp last year, Heard testified that her role had become “very diminished” amid negative attention on her personal life.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wan, 46, said that Mera should never have been the main character in the second installment. Instead, the new story focuses on Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson).

“I’ve always told everyone that from the very beginning. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second film was always going to be Arthur and Orm,” he said.

“So, the first was a romantic action-adventure film, the second is bromance action-adventure movie,” Wan added. “We’ll leave it at that.”

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Depp, 60, sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed about the abuse allegations, although she did not mention him by name. He won all three claims, and she won one of her three counterclaims. They have since reached a settlement and she paid him $1 million.

Amber Heard in “Aquaman” (2018).

Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comic/The Hollywood Archive

During the trial, Heard (who was filming her Aquaman scenes below before the trial) claimed that her reputation and career had “suffered” due to Depp’s public attacks on her character.

“I fought really hard to stay in the movie. They didn’t want to put me in the movie,” Heard said of the sequel.

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“I got the script and then new versions of the script that took out scenes that had action, that described my character and another character — without any spoilers — two characters fighting each other, and they basically took a bunch of my roles. They just removed a bunch,” she added at the time.

Her talent agent Jessica Kovacevic testified that she was told Heard’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom the role was cut due to chemistry issues with Momo – but the agent believed that behind the scenes, the negative press surrounding Depp was affecting her career.

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American actress Amber Heard arrives in the Fairfax County Courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, May 3, 2022 - American actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Court after she wrote an op- published an article in The to the Washington Post in 2018, calling himself "a public figure representing domestic abuse."  (Photo by JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Amber Heard in court on May 3, 2022. JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP/Getty

Walter Hamada, the former president of DC Films, testified during the trial that no comments from Depp or his lawyers had affected Heard’s role in the sequel. He also said there were studio discussions about a “lack of chemistry” between Heard and Momoa.

“The character’s involvement in the story was what it was from the beginning,” Hamada said at the time of Mera’s role in the “buddy comedy” sequel, which follows Momoa and Wilson’s co-stars.

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When asked what problems there were with Heard in the creation Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomsaid Hamada, “from what I understand, production actually went very smoothly.”

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In June 2022, following a verdict that largely sided with Depp, Heard’s rep responded to a report that she had been dropped from the sequel entirely: “The rumors continue as they have since day one – inaccurate, insensitive and a little bit crazy.”

Amber Heard speaks on stage during the 69th Taormina Film Festival

Amber Heard at the Taormina Film Festival on June 24, 2023.

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

As early as November 2020, Heard said Entertainment Weekly that there are rumors that he is not coming back for the next one Aquaman were untrue.

“I’m extremely excited about the amount of love from the fans and the amount of appreciation from the fans Aquaman acquired and that it generated so much excitement for Aquaman and Mera that it means we’ll be back,” she said at the time.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in cinemas December 20.

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Source: HIS Education

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