Amber Heard ‘almost recast in Aquaman’ over Jason Momoa chemistry, court hears

Amber Heard was almost ‘recast’ in Aquaman, a Warner Bros boss told the court during Johnny Depp’s defamation trial.

The 36-year-old played Mera in the superhero flick, which was released in 2018, and starred opposite Jason Momoa in the titular role.

She previously claimed that her role in the upcoming sequel was ‘reduced’, and that she ‘fought really hard to stay in the movie’.

Earlier today, on day 21 of the bombshell case, Walter Hamada, president of DC Films at Warner Bros, testified that there were fears of a ‘lack of chemistry’ between the two leads, claiming there were talks of recasting her.

‘The reality is, it’s not uncommon on movies for two leads to not have chemistry,’ he told the court.

‘You can fabricate, sort of, that chemistry. So I think at the end of the day, I think if you watch the movie, they look like they have great chemistry. But I just know that through the course of the post-production, it took a lot of effort to get there.

‘You know it when you see it. The chemistry wasn’t there.’

He said that some considered recasting for a different female lead, but no other stars were auditioned to replace her.

‘I think editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie but there was a concern that it took a lot of effort to get there and would we be better off recasting, finding someone who had better, more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward in that way,’ he told the court.

‘It’s sort of movie magic and editorial, the ability to sort of put performances together with the magic of a great score and how you put the pieces together.

Hamada also noted that, despite alleged chemistry issues, Heard’s final performance in Aquaman was well received at early test screenings.

‘My understanding is actually the production went very smoothly,’ he said of the upcoming sequel.

Discussing allegations that her role of Mera was ‘pared back’, he added that the flick was thought of as a ‘buddy comedy’ from the very early stages, between Momoa’s Aquaman and King Orm, played by Patrick Wilson.

Depp is currently suing his former partner for defamation and is seeking $50million in damages, over an op-ed she wrote in 2018, discussing her experience with domestic abuse.

While she did not mention her ex’s name in the Washington Post article, his team argued that it implies he was physically and sexually abusive towards her during their romance – something he has denied.

Heard is countersuing for $100million, with closing arguments to be heard later this week.

The trial, held at the Fairfax County Courtroom, began last month, and has since seen the former couple take to the stand to discuss their relationship.

Earlier this week, former Hollywood film producer Kathryn Arnold testified about the actress’ role in the Aquaman films, and claimed that she kept her role because Momoa and director James Wan ‘committed to her’ and were ‘adamant she was in the film’.

Arnold told jurors that Mera featured in the first draft of the script of the Aquaman sequel, and had a ‘strong romantic arc’ throughout the entire film, as well as action sequences.

However, when Heard arrived on set for the shoot, a costume designer reportedly informed her that her appearance had been ‘diminished’, and that her role was ‘radically reduced’. 

Arnold denied that this was due to a reported lack of chemistry between Heard and Momoa, adding that she was ‘fighting for her life’ to be in the final cut.

The trial continues.

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