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Depp v Heard trial: Will Amber Heard be replaced in Aquaman 2?

The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has cast neither of the two actors in glowing light and raises doubts about their future careers.

How will the jury return their verdict in the Depp v Heard trial?

The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard, where both mutually blamed the other for causing the loss of work in Hollywood, has wrapped up. The witness testimony over the course of the proceedings painted a less than pretty picture of either actor which could result in hurdles for future employment in Hollywood productions.

Despite a pressure campaign by Depp fans to have Heard cut from the film, she will still play Mera in the upcoming sequel to Aquaman, set for release in March 2023. During testimony at the defamation trial, Walter Hamada, President of DC-based film production, confirmed that the actress was still in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

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Creative team raised concerns about Heard in Aquaman sequel

During the Depp v Heard trail Hamada testified that Warner Bros considered recasting the role of Mera due to a “lack of chemistry” with Jason Momoa, who plays Arthur Curry a.k.a “Aquaman”. However, both the director James Wan and Momoa came to her defense and were “adamant that she was in the film,” according to entertainment consultant Kathryn Arnold.

Peter Safran told Deadline last year when asked about the pressure campaign by Depp fans on social media to have Heard removed from the Aquaman sequel responded, “One is not unaware of what is 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.”

“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure,” he said. “You gotta do what’s best for the movie.” Heard while on the stand testified though that her role had been pared down with several scenes cut out of the original script she was given.

Both Depp and Heard could resume acting careers once heat from trial cools

The dirty laundry being aired so publicly in the six-week defamation trial, the live-stream for which has attracted millions of viewers, has shown two “highly dysfunctional” people. Whether the mutual claims that their career prospects were damaged by the fallout from their “mutually abuse relationship,” the trial will have some in Hollywood recoiling for the time being.

Film studios might be hesitant at first to engage with either actor but the current toxicity of the two actors could likely fade with time. “When you air your dirty laundry in front of the machine, the executives, all the people that make the parts move, they sort of recoil from a hot flame,” Darryl Marshak, an entertainment agent, told CNN.

Industry experts consulted by CNN say that Depp may come out of this fiasco bolstered within Hollywood having showed that he has a strong fan base. Heard on the other hand was less well-known, having gotten her first major break in the industry playing Mera in the first installment of Aquaman released in 2018, which makes her future in Hollywood more uncertain.

Depp sued his ex-wife for $50 million, blaming a 2018 op-ed she wrote as the reason his Jack Sparrow character was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. She counter-sued for $100 million claiming her career was put on ice because of accusations by an attorney for Depp that she was lying about the domestic abuse claims she made which was followed by a concerted smeer campaign on social media.


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