Aquaman 2 finds itself caught in a whirlwind of new drama as Amber Heard's therapy documents allege that co-star Jason Momoa intentionally dressed like Johnny Depp and actively sought to have her removed from the film. Heard, who is set to reprise her role as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 20, 2023, previously claimed in her highly publicized court case with Depp that she had fought hard to remain in the movie, but her scenes were ultimately cut. Court fees for the release of notes from Heard's therapist, Dr. Dawn Hughes, dated December 27, 2021, were reportedly paid for by Depp fans, and these notes detail the alleged hostile atmosphere on the set of Aquaman 2. They claim that Momoa wanted Heard fired, exhibited drunken behavior on set, and dressed similarly to Depp. However, representatives for Momoa declined to comment, while a DC Studios spokesman stated that Momoa conducted himself professionally throughout the filming of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
A source who was present on the London set in 2021 adds that Momoa and Heard got along well on set, with Momoa working diligently and only occasionally enjoying a beer like anyone else. They deny that he showed up intoxicated or dressed like Depp, stating that Momoa has always embraced a bohemian style. Heard's representatives declined to comment on the matter but confirmed that the therapy notes were indeed in reference to Aquaman 2, stemming from a session that took place on December 27, 2021. Another source close to Heard asserted that her attorneys fought against the release of these notes, which were subpoenaed by Depp's attorneys during discovery.
The therapy notes also target the film's director, James Wan, with Heard stating that he raised his voice at her and made her feel at fault for certain issues. She further claimed that she was unable to post about Aquaman due to blackout rules and that nobody on set could take selfies with her. Wan declined to comment on the allegations, but a DC spokesman refuted them, emphasizing Wan's reputation for treating cast and crew members with respect and fostering a collaborative work environment on set.
Sources state that Wan and the studio had considered removing Heard from the sequel due to a perceived lack of chemistry with Momoa. However, her ex-boyfriend Elon Musk allegedly intervened by sending a threatening letter to Warner Bros., vowing to cause significant damage if Heard was not brought back for the film. Warner Bros. ultimately decided to retain Heard's involvement. Heard and Musk's relationship began in 2012, and they dated for about a year before eventually splitting in February 2018.
Furthermore, it is claimed that two scenes featuring Heard were cut from the sequel, including an action sequence with Mera fighting Black Manta and a love scene with Momoa. Despite the controversies surrounding her return, Heard expressed her gratitude for being a part of the Aquaman franchise and acknowledged the pressures and compromises involved in these large-scale productions. She also discussed the contrast between projects like Aquaman and smaller independent films, such as In The Fire, appreciating the opportunities to balance both types of projects as an actor.
Although a petition circulated, calling for Heard's part to be recast due to allegations of her attempt to ruin Depp's career, the producers stood by their decision to include her in the film. They emphasized that they wouldn't succumb to fan pressure and that their intention was to do what was best for the movie. However, during the court case between Heard and Depp, Heard testified that she had fought to remain in the film but was excluded and only had a minimal role.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to feature Jason Momoa reprising his titular role, alongside Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul Mateen II, and Temuera Morrison. The film is scheduled for release in December.