Amber Heard has been completely cut out of the new Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer – amid claims her role was reduced following the negative attention she attracted due to her bombshell court case with ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The actress, 37, who had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance as Mera in the film’s first trailer released in September, is nowhere to be seen in the latest teaser for the film, set for release on December 20, 2023.
Heard plays the daughter of King Nereus, who can control water with her mind and communicate with other Atlanteans telepathically – who becomes Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) wife.
The action in the clip starts with Momoa on voiceover duties explaining that Aquaman has swapped his aquatic fighting skills for fatherhood – for now, at least.
But it seems as though daddy duty won’t last long, as he also doubles up as the King of Atlantis, which involves battling against a new set of villains.
Gone: Amber Heard has been completely cut out of the new Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer – amid claims her role was reduced following the negative attention she attracted due to her bombshell court case with ex-husband Johnny Depp (pictured in first film)
Where is she? The actress, 37, who had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance as Mera in the film’s first trailer released in September, is nowhere to be seen in the latest teaser for the film, set for release on December 20, 2023 (pictured Jason Momoa as Aquaman)
Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman, who returns as Atlanna, Arthur’s mother and the former queen of Atlantis, seems to have a more prominent presence in the action film.
Director James Wan has since played down the claims that her role was pared back, insisting that the Aquaman sequel was never meant to heavily focus on her character Mera.
‘I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm,’ he told Entertainment Weekly.
Adding: ‘So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie.’
Heard will return as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom set for release on December 20, 2023 – after previously claiming during her highly publicized court case with ex Depp last year that she ‘fought really hard to stay in the movie’ but that ‘they didn’t want to include me in the film’ and her scenes were cut.
Variety reports Depp fans paid the court fees for the release of December 27 2021 notes from Heard’s therapist, Dr. Dawn Hughes – which were written on a pad -and formed part of the trial last year – with the notes later surfacing on Reddit.
The notes detail an alleged hostile Aquaman 2 set – reading: ‘Jason said he wanted me fired. Jason drunk — late on set. Dressing like Johnny. Has all the rings too.’
Let her out! Heard had a blink-and-you-miss it cameo in the official trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in September
Was a pivotal role: Heard plays the daughter of King Nereus, who can control water with her mind and communicate with other Atlanteans telepathically
Representatives for Momoa declined to comment to the publication while a DC Studios spokesman said: ‘Jason Momoa conducted himself in a professional manner at all times on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.’
A source who was on the London set in 2021 added the pair got along on set, adding: ‘Jason works his ass off, likes to have a beer once in a while like everyone, but doesn’t show up drunk to set. And he isn’t dressing like Johnny Depp. He has always dressed in that bohemian style.
Representatives for Heard declined to comment but confirmed to the publication the notes were in reference to Aquaman 2 and from a therapy session from December 27, 2021.
Another source close to the actress alleges her attorneys fought the release of the notes – which were ‘subpoenaed by Depp’s attorneys during discovery.’
The notes also saw Heard take aim at the film’s director James Wan and claim she was treated poorly due to her legal battle with Depp.
Discussing Wan in the notes, the actress allegedly said: ‘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.’
Wan declined to comment to the publication but a DC spokesman refuted the claims and said: ‘James is known for treating members of his cast and crew with the utmost respect and for fostering a positive, collaborative environment on set – the Aquaman films were no exception.’
Sources further claimed to the publication that Heard was nearly ousted from the sequel by Wan and the studio due to a ‘lack of chemistry’ with Momoa – but her ex boyfriend Elon Musk saved her job.
It was alleged a letter was sent to her attorney Karl Austen informing Heard of the decision after Aquaman’s release in 2018 – and that Momoa had no part in the decision to axe her.
First film: It was claimed the decision to axe Heard was first made after the 2018 film and by Wan and the studio due to a lack of chemistry with Momoa – with Momoa not behind the decision
A further source claimed that Heard had done a chemistry test with Momoa before landing the role in the first film and beat out actresses including Abbey Lee,
Heard’s ex beau and Tesla billionaire Musk, 52, allegedly had one of his litigators send a ‘scorched-earth letter to Warner Bros. threatening to burn the house down’ if Heard wasn’t brought back for the sequel, a source claimed.
Warner Bros. then backed down and kept Heard on board.
Representatives for Warner Bros. and Elon Musk have been contacted for comment by DailyMail.com.
Musk first met Heard in 2012 while the actress was shooting Machete Kills in Los Angeles, at the time the star was in the throes of her tumultuous relationship with Depp.
When that marriage ended amid allegations of domestic abuse, Heard began quietly spending more time with the South African-born billionaire before finally confirming their status just months after the ink was dry on her divorce from Depp.
The couple dated for around 12 months between 2017 and 2018 with Musk visiting her on the set of Aquaman in Australia – they finally called it quits for good in February 2018.
It was also claimed ‘at least’ two scenes involving Heard were cut from the sequel – an action sequence with Mera fighting Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and a love scene with Momoa, insiders familiar with the production claimed
Back in July Heard broke her silence about returning to the role of Mera in the Aquaman sequel.
The actress who earned a reported $2million for her role in the first film, said she was ‘honoured’ to be coming back to the DC Extended Universe, but admitted that there was a ‘ton of pressure’.
Director: The notes also saw Heard take aim at the film’s director James Wan (pictured end right with Heard, Momoa and Patrick Wilson in 2018) and claim she was treated poorly due to her legal battle with Depp – the actress allegedly said: ‘He raised his voice @ me’
Comparing it to her latest film, In the Fire, Amber told Deadline: ‘These are very different kinds of projects representing two very different ends of the spectrum in my industry.
‘There’s a ton of pressure on these big franchise movies, with millions and millions of dollars at stake, and compromises are part of trying to make it the most successful thing it can be.
‘Then on the other end of the spectrum is a small indie film like In The Fire, a work of art and work of love, with nowhere near the same resources, and so there are compromises there.
‘The best luck you can have as an actor is to be able to balance both. Aquaman, that franchise and the machinery behind it, I’m very honoured, honoured to be a part of that.
‘And then there are these small passion projects like In The Fire, where I’m proud to have gotten to know the filmmaker and the cast, and we got dirty together, to breathe life into this story.
‘There’s something cool about that, and I think success is an actor who is able to have both those things.’
Amber starred in the first Aquaman film in 2018, but her return in the sequel has been controversial after she accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of abuse.
Elon to the rescue: Heard’s ex beau and Tesla billionaire Musk, 52, allegedly had one of his litigators send a ‘scorched-earth letter to Warner Bros. threatening to burn the house down’ if Heard wasn’t brought back for the sequel, a source claimed
A petition was set up by the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor’s fans demanding her part be recast, accusing her of a ‘systematic crusade to ruin Depp in Hollywood’.
Johnny was dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, after he lost his case against News Group Newspapers for calling him a ‘wife-beater’, which a judge ruled was ‘substantially true’.
The petition garnered millions of signatures, but Amber dismissed it, telling Entertainment Weekly: ‘Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality.’
The film’s producer Peter Safran reiterated this, saying: ‘I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You gotta do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it’s [director] James Wan and [star] Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was.
‘One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.’
However, during Amber and Johnny’s highly-publicised court case last year, Amber testified that she ‘fought really hard to stay in the movie’ but that ‘they didn’t want to include me in the film’ and only shot a ‘very pared-down version’ of her part.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom stars Jason Momoa as the titular hero, as well as Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul Mateen II, and Temuera Morrison and is slated for release in December.