Warner Bros. Confirms Amber Heard Replacement Talks After Aquaman

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Aquaman, Amber Heard

At this point, it is nearly impossible for someone to have not heard about the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial. The conflict between the two has been in the spotlight for many weeks now as Depp's defamation suit has been ongoing. The Pirates of the Caribbean star claimed that Heard is not the victim of domestic violence but the perpetrator––and how the original news article claiming abuse was a ruse to garner the actress positive press.

The feud has quickly become one of the biggest within Hollywood in recent memory. It’s also been the downfall of both Depp’s standing in the industry and the cause of several lost projects—including another Pirates of the Caribbean and being recast in the Fantastic Beast series.

Despite Depp feeling the blowback, Heard has not yet been publically outside of any projects. However, as of late, word has been getting around that her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was severely reduced as Mera.

Now, Warner Bros. DC Films President Walter Hamada has taken the stand to testify about what role the conflict may have played in any conversations regarding Heard's role in the comic book movie franchise.

Amber Heard DCEU Recast History Unveiled

Amber Heard, Aquaman

The Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial is still raging on, and now, more information about the actress' role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been uncovered due to Warner Bros.' President of DC Films, Walter Hamada, testifying on the stand,

When asked if there were ever delays for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to recast Amber Heard's role of Mera, Hamada confirmed that "Yes, there was," and that the "conversations about potentially recasting... [caused a delay of] probably weeks."

He claimed that the conversation to consider recasting was due to "[an] issue of chemistry" between both Heard and lead star Jason Momoa and not related to the ongoing dispute with Johnny Depp.

At one point, Warner Bros. supposedly asked itself if it "would [be] better off recasting" in order to find someone who had "more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa:"

“It was the concerns that were brought up at the wrap of the first movie, the production of the first movie, which is the issue of chemistry. ‘Did the two have chemistry?’ I think editorially, they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie, but there was a concern that it took a lot of effort to get to there and would we be better off recasting, finding someone who had better, more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward that way.”

Hamada also confirmed that "[they] did not" take any official steps to audition any replacements. He went on to reiterate how the conversations to recast "[were] all [because of] concerns about whether she was the right fit of casting for the movie," and that Amber Heard's dispute with Johnny Depp "[did not play into it] from [their] end."

Warner Bros. Claimed Lack of Chemistry

Many might be scratching their heads at DC President of Films Walter Hamada's claim that the case had no say in Warner Bros.' discussions of Amber Heard’s future as Mera. 

While the case lost Johnny Depp two entire franchises, it somehow never factored into Amber Heard’s place in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom? Given all of the information uncovered about how she treated Depp (including a certain incident in a bed, an injured finger, and on record admissions), one would think she'd be facing similar blowback.

It’s also odd how Hamada cited chemistry issues when that was never a point of criticism from fans or critics when the first film was released. In fact, many seemed to enjoy Heard’s time as Mera and wanted to see more of her.

Only time will tell what the future holds in store for her when it comes to her place in the DCEU. However, fans may not see much of her next year when the sequel arrives.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on March 17, 2023.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.