Jason Momoa Allegedly Fought to Keep Amber Heard in Aquaman 2

Jason Momoa allegedly advocated for Amber Heard to keep her role as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. As Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation trial against Heard enters its final week, new testimony from entertainment-industry expert Kathryn Arnold on Monday suggested that Heard was able to keep her role in the Aquaman sequel because Momoa and director James Wan were “adamant she was in the film.” 

Last week, Heard testified that Warner Bros. “didn’t want to include” her in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom after her public divorce from actor Johnny Depp. On the stand as the defendant in Depp’s $50 million defamation trial against her (Heard has countersued for $100 million), she said that she had to “fight really hard to keep [her] career” after seeking a restraining order from Depp. “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,” she said.

Arnold’s testimony supports Heard’s version of events. Arnold claimed that Momoa, who plays the titular role in the franchise, and Wan, who directed the original and the sequel, were “committed to her.” Arnold also testified that in the first draft of the DC sequel, Heard had a “strong romantic arc” with Momoa as well as action sequences that Heard had reportedly spent months training for—both of which were “radically reduced.”

This also supports Heard’s testimony from the week prior. She claimed that her role of Mera, the warrior princess and love interest to Aquaman (and future wife according to the DC comics), was “a very pared-down version” of what she had initially signed on to do following her legal battles with Depp. “They basically took a bunch out of my role,” Heard said on the stand. “They just removed a bunch out.”

In earlier testimony, Heard’s WME agent, Jessica Kovacevic, said Warner Bros. claimed that Heard’s role was nearly recast in the sequel due to “lack of chemistry” with Momoa. Kovacevic testified that she believed that her client’s role was almost recast due to “bad press.” However, Arnold claimed that Warner Bros. hired Heard for the film after a chemistry test with Momoa. During Arnold’s testimony, she claimed that Heard was headed for her “A Star Is Born moment” after joining the DC universe, claiming that her career was about to take off and comparing her trajectory to that of other A-list actors like Momoa, Zendaya, Gal Gadot, and Chris Pine. “It was that moment where not only was she a good actor, but she was now world-renowned because she was in the most successful film…certainly for DC Comics,” said Arnold. 

When asked whether Heard’s public split from Depp affected career trajectory, Arnold said that it had. “In the public, it’s been very negative,” replied Arnold. “In the industry, they like her work but they can’t work with her right now. Because every time her name is mentioned, the negativity flares up again.”

“Her world has been silent in terms of opportunities,” she continued. “Even things she wanted to work on are no longer available to her.”

Momoa has not publicly commented on his potential involvement in helping Heard secure her Aquaman role, and reportedly follows both Depp and Heard on Instagram. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to hit theaters on March 17, 2023.

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