Jason Momoa pushed for Amber Heard to keep her 'Aquaman 2' role, industry consultant testifies

Jason Momoa, Amber Heard arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Aquaman" at TCL Chinese Theatre on December 12, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Jason Momoa and Amber Heard at the premiere of "Aquaman" in Hollywood on December 12, 2018.Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
  • Jason Momoa pushed for Amber Heard to be in the "Aquaman" sequel, according to Heard's witness.

  • Kathryn Arnold said Heard was able to be in the film only after Momoa and James Wan fought for her.

  • Arnold said Heard's career was damaged after Depp's lawyer called her abuse allegations a "hoax."

Jason Momoa pushed for Amber Heard to be in the "Aquaman" sequel, according to testimony from an industry consultant.

During the Depp v. Heard defamation trial on Monday, entertainment industry expert Kathryn Arnold testified that Heard was able to remain in the upcoming movie only because Momoa, the film's lead, and director James Wan were "adamant that she was in the film."

Heard was first introduced as Mera, Aquaman's love interest, in the 2017 film "Justice League" before becoming a protagonist in 2018's "Aquaman."

According to Arnold, the first draft for the sequel, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," gave Mera a "strong romantic arc" and "some great action sequences."

Heard only found out her role had shrunk when she arrived on set and after having "trained five hours a day for several months with the trainer to do this big action sequence," Arnold said.

Aquaman
Amber Heard as Mera in "Aquaman."Warner Bros.

The role was "radically reduced from what it was in the script and what she even trained for while she was preparing for the movie," Arnold continued.

Earlier this month, Heard testified in court that she had a heavily reduced role in the "Aquaman" sequel after fighting to stay in the movie.

"I fought really hard to stay in the movie — they didn't want to include me in the film," the actor said on May 16.

Heard went on to say that when she finally locked the role for the sequel "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," out March 2023, it was "a very pared-down version of that role."

"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," Heard said. "They basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch out."

Depp's team has also called witnesses during the trial to note he's lost work in Hollywood after Heard's op-ed

Her ex Depp has also lost work.

While testifying remotely earlier in the trial, Jack Whigham, Depp's talent manager, said Disney's president of production Sean Bailey and "Pirates of the Caribbean" producer Jerry Bruckheimer verbally sealed a deal around 2016 to pay Depp $22.5 million for the sixth movie in the franchise.

However, Whigham was never able to revive the deal following Heard's allegations in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, which detailed her experience with domestic abuse. Depp was never named in the article.

Pirates of the CaribbeanDeadMenTellNoTalesDisneyfinal
Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.Disney

Bruckheimer recently said there were no plans for Depp to return to the "Pirates" franchise "at this point."

Arnold also testified that Heard's Hollywood career was damaged after Depp's attorney Adam Waldman called her abuse allegations a "hoax." She estimated that Heard's losses from the "hoax" statement amounted to between $45 million and $50 million in deals.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in damages, accusing her of ruining his career and reputation by insinuating in the Washington Post op-ed article that she had been a victim of domestic violence at his hands.

Heard denied the claims and countersued for $100 million, alleging Depp physically beat her numerous times in their relationship, often while intoxicated on drugs and alcohol.

Read the original article on Insider