Amber Heard was nearly recast in Aquaman 2 due to bad chemistry with Jason Momoa, says her agent

Warner Bros. cited Amber Heard's "lack of chemistry" with Aquaman 2 costar Jason Momoa as a reason for possibly recasting her role, Heard's agent testified on Thursday during the Johnny Depp defamation trial.

In a pre-recorded deposition, Jessica Kovacevic testified about Heard's career before and after her split from ex-husband Johnny Depp, sharing her belief that Warner Bros. wanted to replace Heard as Mera amidst the flurry of bad press pertaining to the split. Instead, Kovacevic testified that the studio cited Heard's lack of chemistry with Momoa as the reason they were considering recasting her.

Representatives for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

While the studio never directly cited Heard's split with Depp as a reason for her potential recasting, Kovacevic testified that in her opinion, they didn't "want to hire someone who has bad press," adding, "No one wants that association."

Heard ultimately remained in the film, but her role was "pared down" significantly from earlier iterations of the script, she previously testified.


Warner Bros. Pictures Amber Heard and Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman'

Heard told the court Monday that she had to "fight really hard" to keep her roles in 2017's Justice League and the first Aquaman film amid Depp's alleged "smear campaign" against her. The actress testified that the "sophisticated PR machine" behind Depp conspired to label her a liar in the press, resulting in her removal from acting jobs and beauty sponsorships.

"I had to fight really hard to keep my career after I got my [restraining order against Depp]," Heard testified. "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."

Heard testified that Warner Bros. "didn't want to include me" in Aquaman 2. When asked if she was "actively scheduling timing for filming" for Aquaman 2 before Depp's alleged smear campaign, Heard said yes. When asked about her involvement after Depp's team called her a liar in the press, she said no, "the communications stopped at that point."

Amber Heard
Amber Heard

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Amber Heard takes the stand during Johnny Depp defamation trial

Heard added, "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. They just removed a bunch out." While her $2 million contract remained intact, Heard reportedly appears on screen for just 10 minutes.

Asked if she's been able to find work recently, Heard said, "I have done one small independent film. I shot a film in Guatemala. It's a small independent, meaning it doesn't have distribution or anything; it's a lower budget film that I had been attached to for many years called Into the Fire." She said was paid $65,000 for the role. Given the success of Aquaman, Kovacevic testified, Heard should have been offered more endorsements and job opportunities, but she was not.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote chronicling her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue that references to their client (and Heard's previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce) are clear and have damaged Depp's career and reputation. Heard filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false.

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