Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: Official trailer
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom finally hit cinemas five years after the first movie became a massive global hit netting $1.152 billion dollars worldwide. However, the sequel has been marred by the extremely high-profile defamation case against one of its stars, Amber Heard, taken by Hollywood actor Johnny Depp.
Heard plays aquatic superhero Queen Mera in the DC comic franchise, and the sequel should have marked a triumphant return to the screen for her. However, it has been completely overshadowed by allegations she made during her testimony in court. Her claims recently resurfaced.
On the same day that the first trailer dropped for the movie in September this year, documents from the court case were published on Reddit. The notes which are handwritten on a legal pad, were part of the much-publicised case and are by Dr Dawn Hughes from therapy sessions with Heard.
The therapy notes were originally subpoenaed by Depp’s attorneys during the case. Afterward, a collective of Depp’s fans paid the necessary court fees to release the raw, handwritten notes. They paint a bleak picture of her work in the movie. In the notes, the actress claims to have felt unsupported by the film’s director, James Wan, and treated like a pariah because of her high-profile legal battle with her ex-husband.
“He raised his voice @ me — ‘I can’t even post about Aquaman’ — made it like it was my fault – I said, ‘I’m sorry,’” Hughes notes claim about Wan. “Nobody could take selfies with me on set given blackout.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Warner Bros Pictures for comment.
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The reflections by Heard are just the latest source of embarrassment for the moviemakers following her intense legal battle. The movie was mentioned during the 2022 trial and appeared to have more drama off-set than on.
During her testimony, Heard alleged that the media attention surrounding the case hurt her career prospects. She testified that her role in the movie had been significantly reduced after Depp took the case against her. “I was given a script and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it,” Heard told the court, claiming, “They took [out] a bunch of my role.”
She went on to claim that the studio “didn’t want to include me” in the Aquaman sequel because of fan backlash. An online petition to remove her from the film garnered 2.6 million signatures in April 2022.
Her claims were disputed by the president of DC Films, Walter Hamada, who was called as a witness following her allegations. In a pre-recorded deposition played for the court on May 24, he testified the reason for the actress’ smaller role in the sequel was due to a lack of chemistry between Heard and the film’s lead Jason Momoa.
“There was a concern that it took a lot of effort [for Heard and Momoa to have chemistry in the first film] and [Warner Bros. felt it] would be better off recasting [and] finding someone who had a bit more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa,” the Warner Bros. executive said.
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Depp sued his ex-wife, whom he met on the set of The Rum Diary, over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic violence even though she did not mention the Pirates of the Caribbean actor by name.
Depp, who was married to Heard from 2015 to 2017, denied all allegations of physical abuse and claimed that the article damaged his career and reputation.
In the end, the jury found Heard defamed Depp as she “acted with actual malice” when writing her op-ed. However, the jury found both Depp and Heard liable for defamation in their lawsuits against one another
Originally, Depp was awarded $15 million in damages, but the number was later reduced to around $10 million. Heard was awarded $2 million in damages, which she appealed. They eventually settled last December and the actress paid her ex $1 million.
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