Amber Heard claims that her role in the upcoming “Aquaman 2” was cut down due to the allegations of mutual abuse in her marriage to ex-husband Johnny Depp.
Heard alleged Depp led a PR “smear campaign” against her after she obtained a domestic violence restraining order in 2016. The couple divorced in 2017. Depp is currently suing Heard for $50 million over defamation claims due to a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote alleging she was a domestic violence survivor. Heard later filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp, saying his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false.
During Heard’s testimony on May 16, the DC actress alleged that Depp’s “sophisticated PR machine” labeled her a liar in the press, resulting in a minimized role in “Aquaman 2” as well as being removed from brand sponsorships.
“I had to fight really hard to keep my career after I got my [restraining order against Depp],” Heard said in court. “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.”
However, Heard claims that her upcoming “Aquaman 2” role was significantly cut down amid her legal battles. Heard plays love interest Mera of the Jason Momoa’s titular Aquaman character.
“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 spoiler aways, two characters fighting with one another, and they basically took a bunch out of my role,” Heard testified of her “very pared-down version” of the role. “They just removed a bunch out.”
Reportedly, Heard appears in only 10 minutes of the sequel. The release date for “Aquaman 2” was also pushed back by Warner Bros. for a new March 17, 2023 premiere.
“It’s structured like a three-picture option,” Heard said of her DC contract, which concludes with the “Aquaman” sequel. “I signed on to do ‘Justice League,’ where my character was introduced. The fee is small relative to what it will become if and when you do the other options or movies under that umbrella. So it was the contract for ‘Justice League,’ which could then become ‘Justice League 2,’ or it could be ‘Aquaman ‘or it could be some other movie within the DC Universe. And the second picture ended up being ‘Aquaman,’ and the third being ‘Aquaman 2.’ And each time the fee goes up.”
Heard revealed she earned $1 million for ‘Aquaman’ and twice as much for the sequel. She claimed that Warner Bros. “didn’t want to include me” in the sequel and confirmed that she was “actively scheduling timing for filming” before Depp’s alleged “smear campaign” against her.
In addition to Heard’s reduced DC role, she also stated that production for Paramount+ drama “The Stand” was altered after Depp’s lawsuit. The “Rum Diary” actress told the court that she was involved in doing publicity for the series but “shoots were canceled.”
Her spokesperson deal with L’Oreal also allegedly took a hit, with Heard only appearing in “one live event” since partnering with the brand in 2018. Heard’s current work includes “one small independent film” shot in Guatemala called “Into the Fire.” The feature does not have distribution, and Heard testified she was paid $65,000 for her role.