DC Films boss Walter Hamada today took the stand via video link in the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial to deny claims that Amber Heard’s role in the Aquaman franchise suffered from her ongoing legal issues with Johnny Depp. Asked multiple questions regarding Heard’s contracts, options, and scripted screen time in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Hamada repeatedly denied that anything to do with Heard’s role in the movie had been impacted by legal trials, online statements, or anything else relating to Johnny Depp and all decisions had been made for movie-related reasons.
After opening statements clarifying the position of Hamada, and basics around the movie, he was asked a series of questions specifically about Heard’s role in Aquaman 2 and if it had ever been impacted by her issues with Johnny Depp. The resulting conversation went like this:
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Q. Did Warner Bros. at any point in time reduce Miss Heard’s role in Aquaman 2?
A. The size of the role in the film she has was determined in the early development of the script which would have happened around 2018. From there, beyond normal development the role sort of the character’s involvement in the story was what it was from the beginning.
Q. Was her role ever reduced for any reason?
A. Again from the early stages of development of the script,the movie was built around the character of Arthur and the character of Orm, Arthur being Jason Momoa and Orm being Patrick Wilson. So they were always the two co-leads of the movie.
Q. Did Warner Bros. ever plan to portray Miss Heard as the co-lead in Aquaman 2?
A. No because the movie was always pitched as a buddy comedy between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson
After establishing that Heard was paid for both her roles in Aquaman and its sequel, Hamada was asked whether her compensation for Aquaman 2 was in any way affected by anything that had been said by Johnny Depp, Adam Waldman, or by anyone representing Johnny Depp. To all three, Hamada replied no.
Aquaman Delays Were Down to Warner Bros. Considering Recasting to Get Around ‘Chemistry Issues’
Warner Bros. Pictures
Despite Amber Heard frequently testifying that her role in Aquaman was one she had to fight to keep, with her issues with Depp and particularly the social media campaigns by Depp fans demanding she be removed from the role, Hamada denied that this was ever the case. Instead, he said that there had been a couple of weeks’ delay on the movie due to concerns with the chemistry between Heard and Jason Momoa.
This was emphasized during cross-examination of Hamada by Heard’s legal team, when Hamada said that post-production was responsible for making the relationship between the pair work on screen for the first Aquaman movie, but it had been “a lot of work.” While confirming that it is the job of post-production editors to put scenes together in a way that works, he said, “they put performances together and sometimes it is easier than others, but this time it was more difficult because of the lack of chemistry between the two.” This had then been the basis for Warner Bros. considering a different actress potentially taking on the role instead of Heard.
The trial continues into its final days before closing statements on Friday.