A recent report has shed light on apparent efforts by Jason Momoa, the star of “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” to remove Amber Heard from the DC sequel.
The report reveals that on the same day the trailer for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was released, some Reddit users paid for access to documents from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial, subsequently publishing them online. Among these documents are descriptions, seemingly jotted down on a legal pad by Heard’s therapist, of Momoa allegedly appearing intoxicated on set, dressed as Depp, while trying to get Heard fired.
The report continues to explain that Heard was nearly let go from her role as Mera after the release of “Aquaman” in 2018, although it wasn’t due to the public drama surrounding Depp. Variety reports that it was primarily due to a perceived lack of chemistry with Momoa, a point that aligns with testimony given by Heard’s agent during the defamation trial.
However, the report alleges that Elon Musk ultimately prevented Heard’s firing. The report suggests that Heard’s former boyfriend had one of his lawyers send a strongly-worded letter to Warner Bros., threatening severe consequences if she were fired. This reportedly led Warner Bros. to change their decision and retain Heard for “The Lost Kingdom.”
Warner Bros. and Jason Momoa’s representatives have been contacted for comment by IGN. A spokesperson for DC has contested the claims against Momoa, stating that he always conducted himself professionally during the filming of “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” Another source defended Momoa’s attire, asserting that he has consistently embraced a bohemian style, and his dress was unrelated to imitating Johnny Depp.
The notes from Amber Heard’s therapist included in the documents state, “Jason said he wanted me fired. Jason was drunk — late on set. Dressing like Johnny. Has all the rings too.”
The notes also suggest that director James Wan isolated Heard on set due to her legal battle with Depp, with one passage stating, “He raised his voice @ me — ‘I can’t even post about Aquaman’ — made it like it was my fault – I said ‘I’m sorry.’ Nobody could take selfies with me on set given blackout.”
In response to these allegations, a DC spokesperson informed Variety that James Wan is renowned for treating his cast and crew with respect, and maintaining a positive and collaborative environment on set, and the “Aquaman” films were no exception.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” had undergone multiple reshoots over the summer, stemming from confusion about Batman’s role in the film. While reshoots are not uncommon in superhero movies, they can be costly.
According to the Variety report, the production cost for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was $215 million. The film’s performance at the box office will be closely watched, as there is hope it can replicate the billion-dollar success of its predecessor when it hits theatres on December 20.