‘Aquaman’ Director Caught in Lie, Amber Heard Scenes Removed

in DC, Movies


Credit: ITM

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has gone from being the most-anticipated DCEU movie to an impending shipwreck of drama as its premiere inches closer.  Much of this turmoil was centered around defamed starlet Amber Heard’s court battle with Johnny Depp. Many fans expected the actress to have her role as Mera reduced or removed, but director James Wan reassured this was not the case. However, a creditable source has divulged that Heard has, in fact, had scenes removed from the long-awaited sequel.

Amber Heard as Mera (L) and Jason Momoa as Aquaman (R) in 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. has stated that the Lost Kingdom‘s delay was because of standard reshoots and visual effects changes. While leaked confirmation of poor test screening reviews would support this claim, the studio refused to acknowledge the problems surrounding the sequel’s production. There is no denying that this film had an uphill battle. Wan and his production team were not only affected by COVID, but the Warner Bros. Discovery merger completely changed the direction of the franchise.

jason momoa as aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

The studio originally granted the future of the DC Universe to 300 director, Zack Snyder. Yet, when his creative vision did gain Marvel Studios-like financial returns or fan reception, Warner Bros. executives would interfere with this vision by hiring directors to shift the cinematic universe’s tone, look and cohesiveness. This erratic strategy  would eventually result in severe backlash from numerous critics and fans.

Zack Sndyer with Henry Cavill (left), Gal Gadot (middle), and Jason Momoa (right)
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Then the newly assembled Warner Bros. Discovery executives smashed the reset button on the DC brand, when they hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to be the CEOs of DC Studios. This decision would lead to a major removal of future DCEU projects. This change occurred right as The Lost Kingdom was in production.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Next, Aquaman‘s popularity would face adversity when Amber Heard lost her highly publicized defamation case to ex-husband/swashbuckling acting icon, Johnny Depp. Heard’s demeanor during her court battle would make her an instantly meme-able and parodied villain on social media. The amount of bad press was as deep as the Mariana Trench. This inundation of bad publicity prompted a fan campaign to have Heard completely removed from the Aquaman sequel or replaced by Emilia Clarke.

johnny depp amber heard trial

Warner Bros. Discovery announced that Heard would not be cut from the film due to her legal loss and would still be a major character in the story. Even Director, James Wan attempted to downplay the drama by reassuring fans that everything was fine. He stated that Heard’s role was not even cut down even after her fall from grace in the public eye.

James Wan at a panel
Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

However, the defamed Aquaman star has refuted these claims by stating, “I was given a script and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it. They just removed a bunch out.” Whether they agreed with the choice, many critics sided with the studio on their statement considering Heard has had a propensity to stretch or manipulate the truth after her scrutinized testimony.

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman
Credit: DC Studios

Well, it turns out Amber Heard was right — to a degree. A source close to the production has disclosed that at least two major scenes that starred Heard’s character, Mera, were cut. One was an action sequence involving a clash with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and the other was a love scene between her and Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa).

While removing scenes is common when editing a major film, it is strange that these two sequences were the ones to be cut. The latest trailer established that Black Manta would be coming for Aquaman’s loved ones. Therefore, attacking the Queen of Atlantis and the mother of Arthur’s child would be a pinnacle altercation. Furthermore, Mera and Arthur are married in the sequel so to delete a scene depicting their love takes away from character motivations.

Amber Heard as Mera (left) gazing at Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry (right) in 'Aquaman'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Critics have speculated that the leaked news is a pointed strategy to tarnish the public’s interest in the Aquaman sequel, along with the cast and crew. Plus, Sources confirmed that previous to Heard’s legal woes, the studio did attempt to fire the actress because of her “lack of chemistry” with Momoa. So critics have asserted that all this turmoil has emboldened Heard to sink her own ship.

Most of the cast from the original film is set to return including the controversial Amber Heard.  However, the fact she is only shown for a half-second in the full trailer does not bode well to her screen time in the sequel.

amber heard testimony
Credit: Screenshot via Law & Crime Network

Unfortunately, the fate for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman franchise is uncertain, yet bleak. Hopefully, the constant delays, saucy drama and the ever-growing “superhero fatigue” will not capsize the opportunity for the King of the Seven Seas to have a place in the new DCU. The one thing that is for certain is that DC is done with Amber Heard and she is done with DC.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be released December 20, 2023.

What do you think of this revelation? Does it portray Amber Heard in a different light? Do you think this confirmed drama will lead to its failure?

in DC, Movies

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