UPDATE: In testimony presented on Tuesday, DC Films exec Walter Hamada denied Amber Heard's claim that she suffered negative consequences regarding Aquaman 2 due to her ongoing issues with Heard. Hamada instead testified that Heard was almost removed from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom due to studio concerns over a lack of chemistry between Heard and star Jason Momoa. Hamada also testified that Heard's role in the sequel had not been reduced.
"They didn't have a lot of chemistry together," Hamada testified. "The reality is it's not uncommon on movies for two leads to not have chemistry and it's sort of movie magic and editorial — the ability to put performances with the magic of a great score and how you put the pieces together, you can fabricate that chemistry. At the end of the day when you watch the movie, it looks like they have great chemistry. But I just know that through the course of postproduction, it took a lot of effort to get there. Sometimes you just put characters together on the screen and they work. It's like what makes a movie star a movie star. You know it when you see it. The chemistry wasn't there … This one was more difficult because of lack of chemistry between the two."
The original story continues below.
The libel case between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is entering its final days with several rebuttal witnesses expected to take the stand, including Warner Bros. executive Walter Hamada. Hamada is set to take the stand virtually on Tuesday (via Deadline) with Hamada's testimony coming from a March 15th deposition that will be shown in the courtroom. Hamada is being called by Depp's legal team as a rebuttal witness and is expected to testify against Heard.
Heard has claimed that she suffered negative consequences regarding the Aquaman franchise due to her ongoing issues with Depp. Heard has claimed that her role as Mera in Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom was sharply reduced in connection to the situation with Depp and, on Monday former Hollywood producer Kathryn Arnold testified to back up Heard's claims about the reduction in her role as Mera. Arnold claimed in her testimony that initial drafts of The Lost Kingdom featured Mera more prominently but was pared down to just two appearances in the film. It's believed that Hamada we refute that and state that there were no negative consequences for Heard on the film as connected to her legal situation. It was previously reported that Hamada, as part of a deposition, had testified that Heard's option to return as Mera was initially declined due to chemistry concerns with Aquaman actor Jason Momoa.
As for Arnold's testimony, she outlined just how Heard's role was reportedly reduced, particularly noting the loss of major action sequences after Heard had trained for months for them.
"She didn't hear anything," Arnold said of subsequent changes that were made to the film. "She wasn't getting the scripts when her colleagues were getting the scripts. She heard that through her agents. And then when she got the script, it was pared down from the first script dramatically. They had her in the hospital very shortly in the first part of the movie, called Act One. They had her in the hospital, and they pretty much had her in the hospital, and then she was going to do this action sequence in the end. She trained five hours a day for several months for the trainer to do this big action sequence. And then when she got to set, two things happened. One, the costume designer said 'I don't know what happened to your role. It got diminished.' And more importantly, this big action sequence that she was going to do at the end of the movie and the third act was cut out. They took it away from her. So, it was radically reduced from what it was in the script, and what she even trained for, while she was preparing for the movie."
Depp and Heard have been locked in legal battles for several years after Heard divorced Depp and then obtained a temporary restraining order against the actor in May 2016. The current legal issue stems from a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post in which she wrote about being the victim of domestic and sexual violence and particularly how speaking out about the abuse negatively impacted her career. Heard did not name Depp in the op-ed. Depp, who is suing Heard for $50 million in the defamation suit, alleges that the op-ed led him to lose film roles and other opportunities. Depp has denied the accusations that he abused Heard. The proceedings are being broadcast on Court TV.