Amber Heard is ‘being cut from Aquaman 2 and will have her $2 million role recast’ sources have claimed – just hours after the actress landed herself at the center of yet another scandal by repeating her allegations of abuse against ex-husband Johnny Depp, despite being found guilty of defamation for accusing him of sexual assault.
According to Just Jared, the 36-year-old actress – who has already completed filming on the sequel to the 2018 sci-fi movie in which she starred alongside Jason Momoa – was officially dropped from the cast after Warner Bros ‘screentested the movie’, which is due to premiere in December, and concluded that Heard’s scenes should be reshot with another actress.
‘Warner Bros. decided to recast Amber Heard’s role after screentesting the movie,’ a source claimed to the website. ‘They are going to be doing reshoots with [her former co-stars] Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman.’
DailyMail.com has contacted Warner Bros. and a spokesperson for Heard for comment.
Serious doubts were already cast over Heard’s future with the DC franchise during her and Depp’s marathon six-week defamation trial, during which Warner Bros executive Walter Hamada testified that producers had already considered recasting the actress over concerns about her lack of ‘natural chemistry’ with co-star Momoa.
An online petition to get Heard dropped from the sequel was also started towards the end of the legal proceedings – gaining 4.6 million signatures in a matter of weeks.
Amber Heard is ‘being cut from Aquaman 2 and her role will be recast’, sources have claimed, just weeks after she lost her defamation trial against Johnny Depp and was ordered to pay him more than $8 million in damages
The claims come two weeks after the end of a six-week defamation trial between Heard and Depp, 59, (seen in court) with a jury ruling that the actress was guilty of defaming her ex-spouse, whom she was ordered to pay over $8 million in damages
Hamada testified to the court that producers had to ‘fabricate’ chemistry between the two actors, while admitting that the studio delayed announcing Heard’s part in the sequel for weeks because of ‘conversations about recasting’ her role.
He added that the issues were raised as the filming of the first Aquaman film concluded because of the ‘chemistry’ between Heard and Momoa.
‘Editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the movie. There was a concern it took a lot of effort to get there,’ he explained, noting that Warner Bros was considering ‘someone with better more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward that way.’
Interestingly, the news of Heard’s alleged axing from the movie comes just hours after she faced furious backlash for once again publicly accusing her ex Depp, 59, of physical abuse during an explosive interview with the Today show, insisting that she will ‘stand by every word of her testimony… until the day she dies’, less than two weeks after she was found guilty of defaming the actor by claiming that he sexually assaulted her during their marriage.
Heard also blasted Depp as a ‘liar’ and repeated her claims that he beat her during their marriage while speaking out about the ‘unfair’ verdict in the former couple’s $8 million defamation trial during an interview with the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie.
During the sit-down interview – which was pre-recorded on Thursday after the actress flew into New York on a private jet from Washington, D.C. – Heard also accused the jurors in the trial of being duped by her ex-husband, branding him as nothing more than a ‘fantastic actor’ who ‘convinced the world he had scissors for fingers’, in a bizarre reference to his performance as Edward Scissorhands in Tim Burton’s 1990 movie.
Heard quickly clapped back at Guthrie, 50, when asked what she thought about allegations made by Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez – who shot to online fame after her ferocious cross-examination of Heard on the stand – that she had been ‘performing’ on the stand and that she had lied about the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the actor.
Serious doubts were already cast over Heard’s future with the DC franchise during the defamation trial, during which Warner Bros executive Walter Hamada (pictured) testified that producers had already considered recasting the actress
Hamada testified to the court that producers had to ‘fabricate’ chemistry between Heard and co-star Jason Momoa, noting that Warner Bros was considering ‘someone with better more natural chemistry with Momoa and move forward that way’
‘Says the lawyer for the man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers,’ Heard hit back. ‘I’m the performer? I had listened to weeks of testimony insinuating, or saying quite directly, that I’m a terrible actress. So I’m a bit confused how I could be both.’
Earlier this month, a jury ruled that Heard defamed her ex-husband by publishing a piece about being a sexual assault survivor in the Washington Post. She was ordered to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although the second payment was reduced to $350,000 per Virginia law by the judge. She was awarded a relatively paltry $2 million in compensatory damages, meaning that Depp, 59, walked away from the case with Heard owing him $8.35 million.
But despite a jury ruling overwhelmingly in her ex-husband’s favor, finding Heard guilty on three counts of defamation against him, the actress refused to walk back her claims of abuse against him – instead doubling down on her allegations that he was physically violent towards her and accusing him of ‘lying’ on the stand when he said that he ‘never hit her’.
‘He said he never hit you. Is that a lie?’ Guthrie questioned, to which Heard responded bluntly: ‘Yes it is.’
She added: ‘To my dying day, I will stand by every word of my testimony.’
Heard also accused Depp’s lawyers, Vasquez and her associate Benjamin Chew, of trying to ‘distract the jury from the real issues’ during the trial, conceding that they had ‘done a better job of that’ than her own legal team.
Her renewed public allegations of abuse against her former spouse will no doubt raise questions as to whether Depp would have a case to sue her for defamation again – and could well put a spanner in the works as far as Heard’s plans to appeal the verdict in the ex-couple’s previous defamation trial.
Heard also suggested that the trial had called into question her First Amendment right to free speech, claiming that she had ‘spoken her truth and spoken it to power’ only to have ended up ‘paying the price’ for that.
When grilled by Guthrie about audio clips that were played during the six-week trial in which the actress could be heard admitting to being physically abusive towards Depp, Heard insisted that she only ever ‘responded to [physical violence]’ but that she ‘never instigated it’.
‘I never had to instigate it, I responded to it,’ she claimed. ‘When you’re living in violence and it becomes normal – as I testified to – you have to adapt.’
Heard added that, while she ‘has so much regret’ over the ‘horrible’ and ‘ugly’ things she did and said to Depp, she was only acting as a ‘person in extreme emotional, psychological, and physical distress’ who felt that their ‘life was at risk’.
The claims about Heard’s official axing from the sequel come just hours after she landed herself at the center of another scandal by repeating her allegations of abuse against Depp, 59, during an interview with the Today show on Tuesday
The 36-year-old sat down with tSavannah Guthrie to discuss the ‘unfair’ verdict in the former couple’s $8 million defamation trial, which she blasted as ‘unfair’, blaming biased ‘social media representation’
‘I know much has been made of these audio tapes,’ she said. ‘They were first leaked online after being edited. What you would hear in these clips [was] not evidence of what was happening, it was evidence of a negotiation, of how to talk about that with your abuser.’
She continued: ‘As I testified on the stand about it. When your life is at risk, not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for, but when you are in an abusive dynamic – psychologically, emotionally, and physically – you don’t have the resources or the luxury of saying, “Hey this is black and white.”
‘Because it is anything but when you are living in it.’
Heard also took aim at the witnesses who testified on Depp’s behalf during the trial, branding them ‘paid employees and randos’ and accusing them of ‘filing rank’ and ‘supporting the person they depend on’.
Heard made a bizarre reference to Depp’s performance in Tim Burton’s 1990 movie Edward Scissorhands (pictured), questioning how his lawyer Camille Vasquez could say she had been ‘performing on the stand’ while defending a ‘man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers’
While insisting that she never ‘instigated’ any violence in her relationship, Heard did admit to behaving in ‘horrible, almost unrecognizable to herself ways’, telling Guthrie that she ‘was pushed to the extent where she didn’t know the difference between right and wrong’.
‘I did do and say horrible, regrettable things throughout my relationship,’ she confessed. ‘I behaved in horrible, almost unrecognizable to myself ways. I have so much regret. I freely and hopefully and voluntarily talked about what I did. I talked about the horrible language. I talked about being pushed to the extent where I didn’t even know the difference between right and wrong.
‘I will always continue to feel like I was a part of this. Like I was the other half of this relationship, because I was.’
Interesting, Heard went on to describe her marriage to and relationship with Depp as both ‘ugly’ and ‘beautiful’, saying: ‘It was ugly. And could be very beautiful. It was very, very toxic. We made a lot of mistakes. But I’ve always told the truth.’
The interview – which was pre-recorded last week – is being aired in three parts on the Today show this week, with the first clip broadcast on Monday; the sit-down will air in full on NBC’s Dateline on Friday night at 8PM.
During the first part of the sit-down with Guthrie – who last week interviewed Depp’s legal team on the show and whose husband Michael Feldman actually consulted for them during the trial – Heard also insisted that the jury’s decision was influenced by what she called ‘unfair social media representation’ and by her husband calling on ‘paid employees and randos’ to testify on his behalf.
‘I’ll put it this way, how could they make a judgment, how could they not come to that conclusion [that I couldn’t be believed]?’ she said. ‘They had said in those seats and heard over three weeks of nonstop, relentless testimony from paid employees and towards the end of the trial, randos, as I say.
‘I don’t blame them, I don’t blame them, I actually understand, he’s a beloved character and people feel that they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.
‘Again, how could they after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was an uncredible person and not to believe a word that came out of my mouth.’
During the marathon six-week trial in Fairfax, Virginia, which started on April 11 and concluded on June 1, Depp called 38 witnesses while Heard’s team called 24.
Heard appeared to take aim at 37-year-old Vasquez (seen right earlier this month) for defending Depp (seen left on June 3)
When asked whether Depp had ‘lied’ when he said on the stand that he had ‘never hit her’, Heard insisted that he had, while hitting out at the actor’s lawyer Vasquez (pictured together in court) for accusing her of ‘performing’ on the stand
Both Depp and Heard gave evidence for four days each, including a forensic cross examination from the opposition lawyers – then both returned to the witness stand to testify a second time.
The jury saw dozens of texts, photos, videos, medical records and even pages from the former couple’s ‘Love Journal’ they hand wrote to each other.
The libel case was so complicated that the verdict sheet had 42 questions the jury had to answer before delivering the verdict: 24 questions for Depp’s claims and 18 for Heard’s counterclaim.
The court heard clips of recordings that Depp and Heard made during their arguments, some of their most intimate moments that were played back for the world years later in the most public setting imaginable.
Throughout the trial, social media was flooded with posts about the legal proceedings – with the majority being shared in support of Depp under the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp. As of June 13, the hashtag had more than 20.6 billion views on TikTok, while the #JusticeForAmberHeard tag had a relatively low 92.4 million views.
Heard, who says she was subjected to ‘hate and vitriol’ online throughout the trial and in the wake of the verdict, doubled down on claims previously made by her lawyer that the trial was biased by social media campaigns, with the Aquaman actress branding the final verdict ‘unfair’.
‘Even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation,’ she said. ‘You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.’
But despite insisting that social media played a key role in the outcome of the trial, Heard, whose interview will air in full on NBC’s Dateline this Friday at 8pm after being teased out on the Today show on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, claimed that she isn’t taking any negative public opinions about her ‘personally’, insisting that she ‘doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her’.
‘I don’t care what anyone thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home in my marriage behind closed doors,’ she told Guthrie. ‘I don’t presume the average person should know those things so I don’t take it personally.’
The interview marks the first time that Heard has publicly addressed the verdict – which she previously blasted as a ‘setback for other women’ in a statement published minutes after the ruling was read out in court.
‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,’ Heard said in a statement shared just minutes after the verdict was read out in court, where she was present for the judgement, while Depp was said
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.’
The day after the ruling was handed down, Heard’s lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredhoft revealed that her client was planning to appeal the verdict, insisting that she had ‘excellent grounds’ to do so, while claiming that the actress is unable to pay the $8.35 million in damages that she owes Depp.
During an appearance on the Today show, Bredhoft was asked if the Aquaman actress would be able to pay the damages she owes Depp after a jury vindicated his claims that she lied by accusing him of abuse during their marriage, to which she replied: ‘No, absolutely not.’
The lawyer also echoed her client’s thoughts on the verdict, blasting it as a ‘significant setback’ for women.
‘It’s a horrible message. It’s a setback, a significant setback because that’s exactly what it means,’ Bredhoft said of the verdict.
‘Unless you pull out your phone and you video your spouse or your significant other beating you, effectively, you won’t be believed.’
She also suggested that the jury in the case had been swayed by public opinion – including social media posts that were shared in support of Depp – a claim that his legal team has since slammed as ‘utterly false’.
To be granted an appeal, Heard would likely need to demonstrate that there were errors in the trial, or in the presiding judge’s reading of the law.
She would also need to post bond of the full $10,350,000, plus interest charges over the course of an appeal trial.
Depp originally sued Heard for $50million claiming that she defamed him with an op-ed piece published by the Washington Post in 2018 in which she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse.
Heard then countersued for $100million claiming that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman made defamatory statements by calling her claims a ‘hoax.’
The actress’s appearance on the Today show comes less than a week after Guthrie, 50, sat down with Depp’s lawyers Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, who slammed any suggestion that social media played a role in the jury’s decision-making as ‘utterly false’.
‘My view is that social media played no role whatsoever this was a decision made by the jury on the evidence. It was overwhelmingly in Depp’s favor,’ said Chew.