Director James Wan disclosed that the upcoming Aquaman sequel was not impacted by the 2022 Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial.
Heard, who is set to reprise her role as Mera in the upcoming movie, was believed to be cut out from the Jason Momoa starrer following the trial.
Wan refuted the rumours in an interview with Entertainment Weekly the movie was never meant to focus on Heard’s character.
In the highly-publicised trial, Heard claimed that her career “took a hit” following her domestic abuse claims against Depp, citing her “pared down” role in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as evidence.
Wan emphasised that the sequel’s storyline was “always” going to feature less of Aquaman’s love interest, Mera, and more of his brother, Orm.
“I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go,” he told the outlet.
“The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie,” he further clarified.
“We’ll leave it at that,” the Australian filmmaker surmised.
In the defamation trial, which lasted from April to June of 2022, Heard stated on the stand that she “fought really hard to stay in the movie. They didn’t want to include me in the film.”
However, Walter Hamada, former president of DC films, testified to the contrary.
“The character’s involvement in the story was what it was from the beginning,” Hamada clarified during the trial.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is slated to release on December 20, 2023.