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The Real Reason DC Films Considered Replacing Amber Heard On Aquaman 2

The ongoing court saga between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has seen each of their Hollywood careers come up time and time again, with Heard's role in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" being the latest to get thrust into the legal spotlight. Specifically, DC Films head Walter Hamada took the stand Tuesday, May 24, and revealed the reason why Warner Bros. considered replacing Heard in the Aquaman sequel after her lawyers claimed it was her abuse scandal with Depp that actually caused them to weigh her dismissal.

"I fought really hard to stay in the movie," Heard testified on May 16 (via CBS News). "They didn't want to include me in the film."

According to Heard and her lawyers, Warner Bros. considered removing her from the "Aquaman" franchise as a result of her allegations against Depp (via The Hollywood Reporter). She claimed in court that she was unable to renegotiate a new contract since hers was set to end after the second movie. The defamation trial going on against Heard sees her ex-husband accusing her of damaging his career and reputation with an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post, which didn't name Depp outright but did allegedly describe their relationship. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, and she has countersued for $100 million (via THR).

Heard's legal team says the abuse scandal has ultimately caused her relationship with Warner Bros. to sour, much like Depp's falling out with Disney and the "Pirates" franchise. After almost being axed, they claim Heard got her role in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" reduced. But DC Films is telling a completely different story.

Warner Bros. says Heard lacked chemistry with Jason Momoa

According to DC Films president Walter Hamada, the ultimate reason Amber Heard was almost removed from "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" was because Warner Bros. believed she lacked chemistry with franchise star Jason Momoa.

"They didn't have a lot of chemistry together," Hamada testified after being called up in a video deposition by Depp's lawyers (via Variety). "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." According to Hamada, the production team on 2018's "Aquaman" had to use what he called "movie magic" — including specific music from the film's score — to create a sense of warmness between Heard and Momoa. "You know it when you see it, and the chemistry wasn't there," he added. 

The testimony from Hamada is a far cry from what industry analyst Kathryn Arnold told jurors on Monday when she claimed that Momoa and director James Wan were very supportive of Heard and enjoyed having her on board for the sequel. "Jason Momoa and director James Wan committed to her," Arnold said (via The Wrap). Asked about Heard's character, Mera, and whether her role had been reduced or changed as a result of the Depp abuse scandal, Hamada said: "The character's involvement in the story was what it was from the beginning."