In mid-September, as Warner Bros. unveiled the $215 million Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer, troubling documents emerged from the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial, causing turmoil for the film studio.
Supporters of Johnny Depp footed the bill to release documents from Amber Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom therapist, Dr. Dawn Hughes, which included handwritten notes from the high-profile trial last year. These notes detailed a hostile environment on the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom set and raised allegations of Jason Momoa, under the influence, imitating Depp and advocating for Heard’s removal from her role as Mera.
A DC spokesperson defended Momoa’s professionalism, emphasizing that he always behaved professionally during filming. According to insiders, both stars had an amicable relationship on set.
Heardâ€™s characterization of her experience working on the film included feeling unsupported by director James Wan and being treated like an outcast due to her contentious legal dispute with Depp.
While the notes suggested that Heard was nearly fired after the release of the 2018 “Aquaman” due to a perceived lack of chemistry with Momoa, sources insist that this decision was unrelated to Depp’s legal actions and was made prior to his lawsuit. Ultimately, Heard’s return was secured after a legal threat from her former boyfriend, Elon Musk, who vowed to take aggressive legal action if Warner Bros. didn’t rehire her.
The turmoil around â€œAquaman and the Lost Kingdomâ€ arrives amidst a period of transition for DC Entertainment, with new leadership and changing priorities. The sequel’s early test screenings faced challenges, but insiders believe that it still has potential, especially during the holiday season with limited competition.
Despite ongoing controversies, the film’s box office performance remains uncertain, as the industry waits to see if it can recapture the success of the first “Aquaman.”