The trial between Aquaman star Amber Heard and Johnny Depp has taken hold of the public's interest. The defamation case is being held in Virginia, permitting live streams of the courtroom that make it easy for fans across the globe to stay in the loop of this messy case between the divorced couple. Depp v. Heard has been a revealing case, but not only about the couple's unhealthy relationship, but it has given fans more insight into Jason Momoa's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Depp has claimed that he's the main reason his then-wife was cast in Aquaman, Heard's contract details have been revealed, and specific spoilers for the sequel were uncovered.
In general, fans have sided with Depp during the proceedings of the case. This may not affect the outcome of the current trial, but it doesn't help Heard's future in Hollywood. Any positive statements about Heard could go a long way, especially as it relates specifically to working on a high-budget comic book movie production.
The jury has now arrived at a verdict, so in the lead-up to its official announcement, an Aquaman co-star has now come forward with some positive words for Heard.
Aquaman Co-Star Defends Amber Heard
In a recent article by the Independent, Aquaman actor Dolph Lundgren had kind words to say about Amber Heard from the set of Aquaman 2. Lundgren, who is reprising his role as Nereus, told Redline Steel CEO Colin Wayne:
“She was great. I worked with her on the first Aquaman, now the second one. We shot last fall in London.”
Lundgren went on to say that Heard is "terrific" and it "was kind of cute" when Heard had her newborn baby on set.
She’s terrific, I had a great experience with her. She was very kind, nice to the crew, nice to everybody, just down to earth. She had her newborn baby with her on set with the nanny which was kind of cute.”
Heard largely does not have the general public on her side as it related to the Depp v. Heard trial, so this kind of support from the co-star could help paint a brighter picture of her to the public. While Lundgren's words will have little effect, if any, on the final verdict of the trial, it may do some work in swaying some individuals' opinions on Heard.
This is an uphill battle for Warner Bros. and DC as the studio is continually faced with keeping its stars viewed positively in the public's eyes. The Flash star Ezra Miller has recently been arrested on several occasions. Heard admitted in a statement that her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was "removed a bunch" by Warner Bros.
Rumors of Miller being replaced got debunked, but Mera being portrayed by a different actress in a potential Aquaman 3 is a real possibility.
Will Amber Heard be Replaced as Mera?
After the first Aquaman, which grossed over $1 billion at the global box office, DC President Walter Hamada claims they considered recasting for the sequel. The reasoning wasn't because of her relationship with Heard or the impending case, but they questioned the chemistry between Heard and Jason Momoa.
The combination of previous, film-related concerns, and the major PR issue the studio faces, replacing Heard seems like a somewhat easy choice. General audiences are turning away from Heard as this trial unfolds, and WB doesn't need any standing in its way of grossing another $1 billion. Reducing her role is all the filmmakers can currently do, and probably keep her in the background of marketing or remove her completely.
After handling the Aquaman 2 press tour (which could be a mess) replacing Heard for a possible third Aquaman film could be in the studio's best interest to keep as many people as possible interested in seeing Jason Momoa wade around with a trident for 120 minutes.
Now all eyes are on the final verdict, which will ultimately decide how Depp and Heard's careers continue in Hollywood going forward.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom releases in theaters on March 17, 2023.