Why Amber Heard Was Cut Out of the New "Aquaman" Trailer
The latest Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer doesn't feature the actor.
The latest trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has some viewers wondering if Amber Heard is in the sequel at all. After starring as Mera, the love interest of Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and the daughter of King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) in 2018's Aquaman, Heard is not featured in the latest trailer for the superhero movie and was shown for only a split second in a previous trailer released in September. She is still included on the cast list, with Mera now Aquaman's wife and the mother of their child.
As the Daily Mail reports, Heard's absence from the trailer comes after her highly publicized 2022 court trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. Depp sued Heard for defamation in relation to an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she said she was a victim of domestic abuse.
Heard did not mention Depp by name, but Depp claimed that it was clear she was referring to him, and that the claim was damaging for his career. Heard then countersued Depp for defamation regarding a claim his legal team had made about her abuse allegations. It was determined that Depp and Heard had both defamed each other. They each filed appeals, but dropped them and settled in Dec. 2022.
The lawsuit was widely covered in entertainment media and a hot topic on social media, where fans of both Heard and Depp made their opinions known. The lawsuit itself included mentions of the Aquaman sequel: According to The Hollywood Reporter, during her testimony, Heard said that she "fought really hard to stay in the movie" and that "they didn't want to include me in the film" because of her high-profile case.
She explained that a "very pared-down version" of her role was shot, and that action scenes with her character were removed from an updated script. "They basically took a bunch out of my role," Heard said.
In 2021, there was an online push from Depp fans for Heard to be removed from the film entirely, following her claims about the Pirates of the Caribbean star. Producer Peter Safran told Deadline's Hero Nation podcast that the pressure wouldn't change the movie.
"You gotta do what's best for the movie. We felt that if it's [director] James Wan and [star] Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard," Safran said (via THR). "That's really what it was. One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn't mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes."
More recently, Wan talked about the reduced presence of Mera in Aquaman in the Lost Kingdom. He told Entertainment Weekly in September that it had always been the plan to have the sequel focus less on the character.
"I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera's journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm [Patrick Wilson]," Wan said. "So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We'll leave it at that."
In October, claims Heard made about Aquaman co-star Momoa surfaced. As reported by Variety, fans of Depp paid the court fee to have notes from Heard's therapist that were used in the trial released publicly. In the notes, Heard claimed that Momoa wanted her fired from the sequel movie, that he was drunk on set, and that he dressed like Depp.
Momoa's rep declined to comment to Variety, but a rep for production company DC said, "Jason Momoa conducted himself in a professional manner at all times on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom."
Heard also claimed Wan treated her differently because of the court case. Wan's rep did not comment; the DC spokesperson said, "James is known for treating members of his cast and crew with the utmost respect and for fostering a positive, collaborative environment on set—the Aquaman films were no exception."
On X (formerly Twitter), people have spoken out about Heard not being in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer. Some are glad to not see her; others think that the actor not being included is unfair.
"Not showing a single scene with Amber Heard is crazy. I feel bad for that woman," wrote one user.
Another posted, "might as well call it aquaman and the lost mera coz where is she in these trailers… why he acting like a single dad."
Someone said, "torn between wanting to watch aquaman to support amber but also not wanting to watch it because of how they treated her."
A different X user posted, "So I watched the Aquaman trailers and ngl… I'm liking the premise. It looks rather fun And I'd love to go see it… If AMBER HEARD WASNT IN IT! And I remember that I can't go and support it just based off of principle."
Someone else wrote, "That Amber Heard is still in Aquaman 2 goes to show you that women nowadays are not held accountable for bad behavior."
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