By Eve Buckland and Sam Joseph Semon for Dailymail.com
19:33 November 20, 2023, updated 19:51 November 20, 2023
Amber Heard has been completely left out of the new Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer – despite her role being reduced following the negative attention she attracted due to her explosive lawsuit with ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The 37-year-old actress, who made a stunning appearance as Mera in the film’s first trailer released in September, is nowhere to be seen in the latest teaser for the film, which is scheduled for release on December 20. , 2023.
Heard plays the daughter of King Nereus, who can control water with her mind and communicate telepathically with other Atlanteans – who becomes the wife of Aquaman (Jason Momoa).
The action in the clip begins with Momoa in voiceover explaining that Aquaman has traded his water fighting skills for fatherhood – at least for now.
But it looks like Dad’s duty won’t last long, as he also plays the role of king of Atlantis, which means battling a new set of villains.
Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman, who returns as Atlanna, Arthur’s mother and former queen of Atlantis, appears to have a bigger presence in the action film.
Director James Wan has since played down claims that his role was reduced, insisting that the Aquaman sequel was never meant to focus heavily on his character Mera.
“I always presented that to everyone from the start. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie would always be Arthur and Orm,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
Adding, “So the first one was a romantic action-adventure film, the second one is a bromance action-adventure film.”
Last month, Aquaman 2 was plagued by more drama after Heard’s explosive therapy documented alleged co-star Momoa deliberately dressed like Johnny Depp and pushed to get her fired from the film.
Heard will return as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom which is scheduled for release on December 20, 2023 – having previously claimed during her high-profile trial with ex Depp last year that she “fought very strong to stay in the film” but that they “didn’t want to include me in the film” and her scenes were cut.
Variety reports that Depp’s fans paid legal costs for the release of December 27, 2021 notes from Heard’s therapist Dr. Dawn Hughes — which were written on a notepad — and were part of the lawsuit that year last – the notes subsequently surfaced on Reddit.
The notes detail an allegedly hostile Aquaman 2 set – saying: “Jason said he wanted me fired.” Jason drunk – late on set. Dress like Johnny. He also has all the rings.
Momoa’s representatives declined to comment for the publication while a DC Studios spokesperson said, “Jason Momoa always behaved professionally on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”
A source who was on set in London 2021 added that the pair got along well on set, adding: “Jason works like crazy, likes to have a beer every now and then like everyone else, but doesn’t Do not appear drunk on set. And he doesn’t dress like Johnny Depp. He always dressed in this bohemian style.
Heard’s representatives declined to comment but confirmed to the publication that the notes referenced Aquaman 2 and a December 27, 2021 therapy session.
Another source close to the actress says her lawyers objected to the release of the notes – which were “subpoenaed by Depp’s lawyers during the pre-trial investigation.”
The notes also saw Heard take aim at the film’s director James Wan and claim she had been treated poorly due to her legal battle with Depp.
About Wan in the notes, the actress reportedly said: “He raised his voice @ me – I can’t even post about Aquaman – acted like it was my fault – I said ‘I’m sorry”. No one could take selfies with me on set because of the power outage.
Wan declined to comment for the post, but a DC spokesperson refuted the claims and said, “James is known for treating his cast and crew members with the utmost respect and fostering a collaborative environment positive on filming – the Aquaman films were no exception. .’
Sources further claimed to the publication that Heard was almost ousted from the sequel by Wan and the studio due to a “lack of chemistry” with Momoa – but her ex-boyfriend Elon Musk saved her job.
It was alleged that a letter was sent to her lawyer Karl Austen informing Heard of the decision after Aquaman’s release in 2018 – and that Momoa had no part in the decision to fire her.
Another source claimed that Heard took a chemistry test with Momoa before landing the role in the first film and beat out actresses including Abbey Lee,
Heard’s ex-beau and Tesla billionaire Musk, 52, reportedly asked one of his lawyers to send a “scorched earth letter to Warner Bros. threatening to burn the house down” if Heard doesn’t was not brought back for the sequel, said a source.
Warner Bros. then reversed course and kept Heard on board.
Representatives from Warner Bros. and Elon Musk have been contacted for comment by DailyMail.com.
Musk first met Heard in 2012 while the actress was filming Machete Kills in Los Angeles, at a time when the star was in the throes of her tumultuous relationship with Depp.
When that marriage ended amid allegations of domestic violence, Heard began quietly spending more time with the South African-born billionaire before finally confirming their status just months after the ink was dry on her divorce from Depp.
The couple dated for around 12 months between 2017 and 2018 with Musk visiting her on the set of Aquaman in Australia – they eventually decided to split for good in February 2018.
It was also claimed that “at least” two scenes involving Heard were cut from the sequel – an action sequence with Mera fighting Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and a love scene with Momoa, claimed insiders familiar with the production.
In July, Heard broke her silence on returning to the role of Mera in the Aquaman sequel.
The actress, who earned $2 million for her role in the first film, said she was “honored” to return to the DC Extended Universe, but admitted there was “a ton of pressure.”
Comparing it to her last film, In the Fire, Amber told Deadline: “They are very different types of projects representing two very different ends of the spectrum in my industry.
“There’s a ton of pressure on these big movie franchises, with millions and millions of dollars on the line, and the compromises are part of trying to make this the most successful movie possible.
“At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a small independent film like In The Fire, a work of art and a work of love, with nowhere near the same resources, and so there are compromises there.
“The best chance you can have as an actor is to be able to balance the two. Aquaman, this franchise and the machinery behind it, I’m very honored, honored to be a part of it.
“And then there are these little passion projects like In The Fire, where I’m proud to have gotten to know the filmmaker and the actors, and where we got down and dirty together, to bring this story to life.
“There’s something cool about that, and I think success is an actor who is able to have both of those things.”
Amber starred in the first Aquaman movie in 2018, but her return in the sequel was controversial after she accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of abuse.
A petition has been launched by fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor demanding his role be recast, accusing him of “a systematic crusade to ruin Depp in Hollywood”.
Johnny was written out of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, after losing his lawsuit against News Group Newspapers for calling him a “wife beater”, which a judge found to be “substantially true”.
The petition garnered millions of signatures, but Amber rejected it, telling Entertainment Weekly: “Paid rumors and paid social media campaigns do not dictate (casting decisions) because they have no basis in reality.”
The film’s producer, Peter Safran, reiterated this, saying, “Honestly, I don’t think we’re ever going to respond to pure fan pressure.” You have to do what’s best for the film. We thought if it was (director) James Wan and (star) Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was.
“It’s not unknown what’s 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.” You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we’ve come to.
However, during Amber and Johnny’s high-profile trial last year, Amber said she “fought really hard to stay in the movie” but that “they didn’t want to include me in the film” and had only shot a “very stripped down” one. -down’ version of his part.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom stars Jason Momoa as the titular hero, as well as Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul Mateen II and Temuera Morrison and is scheduled for release in December.