Amber Heard’s Aquaman 3 Pay Bump Revealed at Johnny Depp Trial

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Aquaman 3 Amber Heard Johnny Depp contract

Aquaman's Mera actress Amber Heard has been in the Hollywood spotlight over recent weeks as her trial with Johnny Depp continues. The controversy surrounding the actress comes as she prepares to return as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and her DC role has proven to be a major talking point throughout the trial.

The trial offered many revelations surrounding Heard's involvement with DC and Warner Bros., including the fact Depp actually helped her secure the role in the first place. As a result of the controversy, the actress has seemingly also had her role shrunk down greatly in the film, with the trial delivering some plot spoilers.

Now, the trial's latest revelation offered the news that the actress ought to receive a pay increase for Aquaman 3.

Amber Heard May Receive Pay Raise for Aquaman 3

Aquaman, Mera, AMber Heard

Entertainment attorney Richard Marks spoke at the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial and discussed the pay increase the actress would receive for her role of Mera if she were to return for Aquaman 3.

Marks described Heard's contract as a talent option contract, meaning Warner Bros. is able to engage her for the third film with no opportunity for her to refuse. The attorney revealed the actress would receive $4 million for Aquaman 3, a significant increase on the $2 million she earned from Aquaman 2.

The full transcription can be read below:

Lawyer: “Ms. Heard’s contract was a talent option contract, correct?”
Marks: “Yes.”
Lawyer: “Okay… and you agree that… if there’s an Aquaman 3, Ms. Heard would have an option to receive four million dollars, correct? For the movie?”
Marks: “Well, actually you would language it… Warner Bros. would have the option to engage her.”
Lawyer: “And if they engaged her, she would receive four million dollars, correct?”
Marks: “She doesn’t have the option to refuse. They have the option to engage her.”
Lawyer: “And she would receive four million dollars, correct?”
Marks: “Yes, four million dollars.”
Lawyer: “Would you agree that the money Amber [Heard] was making on Aquaman 2 or 3 would be her market rate for future studio movies?”
Marks: “I would think it would be her rate for future studio superhero movies… but not necessarily studio movies that aren’t superheroes that could be standalone [or] that could be other type of studio movies.”
Lawyer: “But for… studio superhero movies, it would be four million dollars, correct?”
Marks: “If I was Ms. Heard’s agent, that’s where I would start, assuming everything was equal. The budget of the superhero movie that she was… in the ensemble. There’s a lot of ‘if’s’ to look at, but all things being equal.”

Will Amber Heard's Mera Be In Aquaman 3?

Amber Heard, Jason Momoa, Aquaman

Hollywood's talent receiving a pay increase after spending an extended period within a role is extremely common, especially as an actor or actress continues to grow more famous. Amber Heard may well have been expected to earn $4 million for Aquaman 3, however, backlash toward the actress may have cost her the chance at returning to DC in the future.

The Direct exclusively revealed Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will introduce the child of Heard's Mera and Jason Mamoa's Arthur Curry. Her pregnancy will reportedly put Mera out of action for the significant majority of the film, leading to her rumored ten-minute screen time in the sequel.

Warner Bros. shrunk down Heard's role in Aquaman 2 and even considered recasting her, something many fans were calling for the studio to do. With these decisions in mind, the chances appear slim that Heard will even be back as Mera for a third installment in the trilogy, let alone offer her a pay increase.

Who knows whether that will lead to Mera being killed off in the second film, recast for the third, or possibly written out in some other way? Whatever the case, Aquaman 3 looks to be all but inevitable with the first film in the saga proving to be the highest-grossing DC film and the 24th highest of all time.

Only time will tell what the future holds for Mera, but it will be some time before fans get the answers they're waiting for as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was recently delayed to March 17, 2023.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.