Industry consultant Kathryn Arnold testifies that Jason Momoa and Aquaman 2 director James Wan fought to keep Amber Heard in the DC movie.
A new witness in the star’s ongoing defamation trial has revealed that Jason Momoa and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan fought to keep Amber Heard in the film. Heard and Momoa are returning for the DC Extended Universe sequel alongside fellow Aquaman co-stars Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Kidman and Randall Park. James Wan is back at the helm for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with a script penned by original co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick on a story treatment he developed with Momoa.
Development on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has seen a rollercoaster of starts and stops with Wan wanting to take his time to develop the sequel rather than deliver a rushed product and having to work around the COVID-19 pandemic during production. With post-production on the film’s visual effects taking longer than expected due to said global shutdowns, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s release date was delayed from its original December 2022 release date, swapping places with the similarly long-awaited Shazam! Fury of the Gods and moving to March 2023. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s latest hurdle as come in the form of Amber Heard’s ongoing defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp and further details regarding the behind-the-scenes conflicts have arisen.
As the defamation trial continues between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, industry insider Kathryn Arnold shared new details regarding the extent of Heard’s role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (via The Wrap). Arnold testified that Heard was not invited to partake in the shoot for the film’s poster and was told she wasn’t allowed to attend this year’s DC FanDome event, though noted that her role in the film is safe for now thanks to the efforts of co-star Jason Momoa and director James Wan. See what Arnold said below:
“Ms. Heard was not invited to be either in the poster or to be at the [FanDome] event, and, in fact, they told her she cannot come. In February 2021, there were conversations that Amber’s, I’m going to be technical with you, her option for employment was not going to be exercised. So they may not have hired her again. Her management team fought very hard and they ultimately ended up hiring her, but not only because of what her management did, but also because star Jason Momoa and director James Wan committed to her.”
Arnold’s testimony that Momoa and Wan fought to keep Heard in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom does align with most of the actress’ claims during the trial. Heard has testified that Warner Bros. actively sought to cut her from the DCEU sequel even prior to production, with the studio initially declining to pick up her contract option over concerns of her chemistry with Momoa and the media surrounding the trial. Heard also recently stated in the trial that WB sought to pare down her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and has expressed concerns that she may be cut from the film entirely after having been released from her contract with the studio.
Throughout the trial, Momoa and Wan have remained largely quite regarding the situation and how it may affect the final cut of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. With the defamation trial in its final week, DC Films head Walter Hamada is reportedly set to testify in defense of the studio and deny Heard’s claims that she has been cut from the upcoming sequel. Only time will tell how the trial has truly effected her role in the film when Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on March 17, 2023.
Source: The Wrap
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