While the DC fandom awaits new entries in the DC Extended Universe, the franchise remains in the public eye due to the oft-discussed defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Aquaman star Amber Heard. With only a few days remaining until the jury reaches a decision on the matter, the DC franchise has made its way into the proceedings due to Heard's role as Mera in the DCEU series.
Throughout the trial and the discourse surrounding it from the outside, Heard hasn't held back on what this situation has done to her career as a whole and her status within the DCEU. From her claims about Warner Bros. diminishing her role to discussions about her potentially being replaced as Mera, Aquaman has seen a new kind of spotlight ahead of the second movie in the franchise: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Part of what makes this situation such a difficult one is the relationship that both Heard and Depp have with Warner Bros, specifically since Depp was asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts series in late 2020. Now, in the latest events from the trial, Depp has shared how he actually helped Heard finalize her role with her own Warner Bros. production.
Depp Shares Warner Bros. History with Heard
During the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Depp reflected on how he helped Heard secure her role as Mera within the DC Extended Universe.
When asked about what happened after Heard's audition, Depp shared how Warner Bros. told the actress the film was going to shoot in Australia, something which could have been an issue for her. For perspective, Heard reportedly brought her pet dogs into Australia in 2015, which was illegal due to the country's biohazard laws:
Interviewer: “What do you understand happened after Ms. Heard auditioned for Aquaman?”
Depp: “After Ms. Heard’s audition, or possibly auditions, for Warner Bros. and, I suppose, the creative team, Ms. Heard expressed to me that… Warner Bros. had that said that the film was going to be shooting in Australia. And Australia was a, for Ms. Heard, that was a potential problem…”
Depp continued to share how Heard asked him if he could talk to Warner Bros. due to their long-standing relationship, to which Depp agreed and made phone calls to the company's higher-ups. He couldn't confirm for certain that this helped her to get her role as Mera, but he felt he "curbed their worries" about Heard being in Australia for production:
Interviewer: “…What happened after Ms. Heard auditioned for Aquaman?”
Depp: “I was informed by Ms. Heard that the film was going to be shooting in Australia and that was of concern to her because… it was of concern to Warner Bros. So she asked if I would, because… for a few years I had had a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. so we’d been in business together so I knew these people. I’d been on films with them… She asked me if I would speak to them. I made a phone call and I spoke to… the three upper echelon… Warner executives, Kevin Sujihara, Sue Kroll, and Greg [Silverman].”
Interviewer: “What was the result of you speaking those individuals?”
Depp: “I can only say that ultimately she did get the job in the film, so hopefully I supposeI had curbed their worries to some degree.”
Heard Has Depp to Thank for Aquaman Role?
Johnny Depp had quite an extensive history with Warner Bros. before this trial, including collaborations on Black Mass and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory outside his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series. He made it a point to use those ties to help out his then-wife Amber Heard in her pursuit of a role in DC's Aquaman, even with a seemingly difficult situation to get through with her history in Australia.
While it's unclear how this will affect either party in the trial, it does appear that Depp's influence helped Heard join the DCEU in the first place before she helped contribute to the franchise's highest-grossing movie to date. This is also the first time this news has come out during the trial following Heard's claims that Warner Bros. didn't want to bring her back for Aquaman 2 due to her legal issues.
Even though Heard explained some slightly spoiled-filled details about how her role was cut, the big question now is about what Aquaman 2 actually does with her character and where she stands with the series moving forward. Depp and Heard's testimonies against one another could partially determine that outcome, although there is still a long way to go before any final decisions are made in court.