Johnny Depp Shares His Take After Amber Heard Refuted The Idea Her Ex Landed Her The Aquaman Role

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Who had the Aquaman film series being a recurring topic in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial on their bingo card? Given that Heard plays Mera in this corner of the DC movies landscape, that role of hers has been brought up multiple times in this legal saga, which even resulted in spoilers for the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom potentially being shared. For today, Depp shared his take on whether he helped Heard get the Aquaman role after the actress previously refuted the idea.

Earlier this week, Amber Heard and her defense team claimed that Johnny Depp didn’t have a hand in the actress being cast as Mera. Today, Depp’s legal team called the Pirates of the Caribbean actor back to the stand, where he claimed that Heard’s claim “wasn’t exactly true” (via People). According to Depp, after Heard auditioned to play Mera, she asked her then-husband to speak to Warner Bros. Depp ended up on a phone call with “three upper-echelon Warner Bros. executives,” but before he could say more on the subject, an objection was sustained. Depp then said this:

I can only say that she ultimately did get the job in the film. I suppose I curbed their worries to some degree.

Amber Heard continued to deny this was the case during her cross-examination, telling Camille Vasquez, Johnny Depp’s attorney, that she herself got that role “by auditioning. That’s how it works.” Whatever the case, Heard debuted as Mera in Justice League’s theatrical cut in late 2017, which also marked Jason Momoa’s first full appearance as Aquaman following a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Heard’s Mera returned as the female lead of 2018’s Aquaman, and in addition to her original Justice League scenes being shown in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Heard shot new scenes for the extended cut of Mera in the Knightmare future.

Aquaman ended up making nearly $1.5 billion worldwide during its theatrical run, thus becoming the highest-grossing DC movie yet (Amber Heard denied she wrote her Washington Post op-ed to help sell tickets for the movie). So it was hardly surprising that Warner Bros. greenlit a sequel, and while a petition was made for the studio to remove Heard from Aquaman 2 has, as of this writing, hit nearly 4.5 million signatures, Heard was kept in the role. That being said, during this trial, Heard alleged that her role in The Lost Kingdom was reduced in the midst of her legal entanglements with Johnny Depp. Heard’s agent Jessica Kovacevic also confirmed Warner Bros. did consider recasting Mera for the sequel, though this was allegedly due Heard’s lack of chemistry with Jason Momoa rather than her client’s messy split from Depp. 

We’ll see just how long Amber Heard is onscreen for her next Mera outing when Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom dives into theaters on March 17, 2023. It’s among the upcoming DC movies that have been officially scheduled, along with plenty more that haven’t scored a release slot yet. 

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.