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DC Films and Warner Bros. chief Walter Hamada has squashed claims that Johnny Depp was the reason Amber Heard was almost let go from the Aquaman sequel.
Hamada testified today (24 May) via video link at Depp's headline-grabbing defamation trial against ex-wife Heard, in which he is seeking $50 million in damages over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post.
Heard, 36, had earlier claimed that her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was 'pared down' due to her very public legal battle with Depp.
Walter Hamada, the executive producer for the movie "Aquaman", said in a video deposition that #AmberHeard was not released from the "Aquaman 2" contract or given a pay increase. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/USYUhejS5U— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) May 24, 2022
"I had to fight really hard to keep my career,” Heard told the court last week. “After I got my temporary restraining order, I lost opportunities. I got canceled from jobs. I got dropped from a campaign I had shot. I fought to keep my job in the biggest movie opportunity I had to date – Justice League, with the option [for] Aquaman," she continued, adding that she 'fought really hard to stay in the [Aquaman sequel]'.
“They basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch,” she said.
However, Hamada testified that this isn't true, and that her role was actually called into question because the studio was concerned about Heard's lack of 'chemistry' with co-star Jason Momoa.
“They didn’t have a lot of chemistry together,” Hamada said. “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 post-production, 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.”
When questioned over whether Heard's role was 'reduced', the DC chief said it wasn't, adding that from the very early stages of development the sequel was always going to be a 'buddy comedy' between Aquaman and his half-brother King Orm, rather than a romantic co-lead movie like the first.
The highly-publicised defamation suit against Heard is expected to come to an end this week, with the actor's team having rested their case today.
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