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The relationship between Heard’s character, Mera, and Jason MomoaThe titular superhero is one of the main focuses of the original 2018 film.
However, in the new trailer for the sequel, released on December 20, Mera is seen for a split second banging on a window while underwater.
The trailer arrives just a day after the director James Wanconfronted Heard’s claim that her role as Mera in the sequel was ‘cleaned up’ due to her high-profile defamation lawsuit against her ex-husband in 2022 Johnny Depp.
During the trial, Heard said her role was significantly reduced after Depp’s legal team called his abuse allegations a “hoax.”
“I fought very hard to stay in the film. They didn’t want to include me in the film,” she said at the time.
In an interview with Weekly entertainment, Wan, who also directed the first Aquamandenied that Heard’s trial played a role in creative decision-making.
“I always presented that to everyone from the start. The first one Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie would always be Arthur and Orm,” the director said, referring to the name of Momoa’s character and Patrick Wilson’s supervillain.
“So the first one was a romantic action-adventure film, the second one is a bromance action-adventure film. We will leave it there.
Depp ultimately won his defamation case against Heard. The jury ruled that its 2018 Washington Post article entitled “I spoke out against sexual violence and faced the anger of our culture. This must change” was defamatory and she was ordered to pay $10 million (£8.2 million) in compensatory damages and $5 million (£4.1 million) in punitive damages . The latter sum was reduced to $350,000 (£287,000) to meet a legal cap.
Heard was awarded $2 million (£1.6 million) in damages in a counterclaim against Depp after her lawyer’s use of the “hoax” was also found to be defamatory.
Amid the trial, a petition to remove Heard from Aquaman 2 fully collected over 4.5 million signatures.
Since then, only one of Heard’s co-stars in the Aquaman franchise has spoken publicly about working together on the films. In June 2022, Dolph Lundgren said: “She was great. I worked with her first Aquaman, now the second. We filmed last fall in London. She’s great, I had a great experience with her.
“She’s very nice, nice to the crew, nice to everyone, just down to earth.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on December 20