Tidal waves of controversy are once again rising in the world of Aquaman 2 and it’s not because of a war in Atlantis. A new report is filled with claims regarding Amber Heard’s treatment on the set of the film, and it involves people such as star Jason Momoa, director James Wan, and Heard’s former flame Elon Musk, though DC Films disputes many of the allegations.
You can read the whole article over on Variety, and you should, as it’s both upsetting and fascinating. Most of the biggest claims come from the notes of Heard’s therapist, Dr. Dawn Hughes. Notes from her sessions with Heard were part of the highly scrutinized Heard/Johnny Depp trial and (this is a sign of how weird this all is) were released to the public after Depp’s fans paid for them.
One of the therapist’s notes suggests that Momoa pushed for Heard to be fired, showed up on set drunk, and dressed as Depp to antagonize the actress. DC refuted that claim to the trade (“Jason Momoa conducted himself in a professional manner at all times on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”) while another source said “He isn’t dressing like Johnny Depp. He has always dressed in that bohemian style.”
Another note suggests that director James Wan yelled at Heard over his inability to post on social media about the film, presumably because it would create a firestorm from fans of both her and Depp. DC, again, refutes these claims. “James is known for treating members of his cast and crew with the utmost respect and for fostering a positive, collaborative environment on set—the Aquaman films were no exception,” a spokesperson told the trade.
During the trial, then-DC head Walter Hamada actually testified and confirmed that there were talks of Heard being cut from the film. So that is actually real. However, in these new claims, it’s suggested part of why that didn’t happen is because Elon Musk threatened the studio with legal action if Heard wasn’t asked back for the sequel, which she eventually was.
And yet, in recent interviews, Wan said that while Heard’s role as Mera is dialed back in the film, it was more a story choice than anything else. “Mera obviously is a massive character in the Aquaman world so we obviously want to be respectful to the character,” Wan said. “That’s the bottom line. I want to be respectful to all the characters and do everyone justice. But at the end of the day, I have this story to tell, but I [also] have so many other characters to serve, and I felt like I told the Arthur and Mera story in the first one so I can sort of focus on Arthur and Orm in this one. And so basically it’s a journey movie really with those two and then the other characters sort of like pepper their world.”
Finally, the Variety article also claims none of the original Zack Snyder Justice League—such as Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s Flash or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman—will reprise those roles in future DC projects. And while that was confirmed for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, an io9 source questioned the accuracy of that statement.
Yup. It’s a lot. And the controversy will only continue to bubble until the December 20 release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Read much more on Variety.
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