According to Variety, sources close to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s production say at least two scenes starring Heard’s character, Queen Mera, have been removed from the final DCEU entry. One of the scenes was reportedly an action sequence with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), while another was a love scene with Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa).
“Other evidence of friction is hiding in plain sight,” the article states. “This summer, Momoa unfollowed Heard on Instagram. One source says he even blocked Heard from following him.”
What happened with Aquaman 2 and Amber Heard?
In May 2022, via Entertainment Weekly, Heard claimed that Warner Bros. “didn’t want to include [her]” in the Aquaman sequel given all the controversy surrounding the defamation trial between her and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
“I was given a script and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it,” Heard said at the time. “[The scenes] depicted my character and another character, without giving any spoilers away, two characters fighting with one another. And they basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch out.”
Variety’s report confirms Heard was nearly fired from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom; however, sources say this was because of her lack of chemistry with Momoa rather than anything related to the defamation trial. One of Variety’s sources pushed back on this, however, explaining that Heard beat out two other actors auditioning for Mera following a chemistry test with Momoa.
The article goes on to say that Heard ultimately wasn’t fired because Elon Musk, whom she formerly dated, intervened. “[Musk] had one of his litigators send a ‘scorched-earth letter to Warner Bros. threatening to burn the house down’ if the actress wasn’t brought back for a sequel, says a source familiar with the behind-the-scenes battle,” the article states. “Warner Bros. caved and moved forward with Heard.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom releases on December 20, 2023.