Tuesday morning at the John Depp trial saw the head of DC films, Walter Hamada, testify via video deposition where he offered Amber Heard has no chemistry with Jason Momoa.
That’s not all as Hamada also testified that Heard was never released from her Aquaman contract, which is something Amber Heard said last week while on the stand.
Following Amber Heard also revealing spoilers for Aquaman 2, Walter Hamada dropped a nugget in that the movie was pitched as a buddy comedy starring Jason Momoa as Arthur and Patrick Wilson as Orm, and that Amber Heard as Mera was never a co-star and that her part was never cut or reduced, as yesterday saw Heard’s witness make it out as if Heard was supposed to have a large role in the sequel.
Zack Snyder also got a mention, but all that was about was when Hamada was ever asked if he spoke to Snyder about casting Amber Heard in Aquaman 2, but Hamada responded that he didn’t talk to Snyder (I was actually hoping Depp’s legal team was going to bring up the fact that Zack Snyder brought back Amber Heard for the Snyder Cut in a fourth appearance for Mera, but that never came up. I think it would have shown that Warner Bros. wasn’t “out to get her,” as they let Snyder bring her back for the HBO Max version of Justice League, which is a separate project from the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League, I believe, and maybe even more appearances as Mera if the Snyder Cut would have been successful enough to warrant sequels).
Below you can check out highlights from the testimony of Walter Hamada.
Walter Hamada’s testimony highlights at Johnny Depp / Amber Heard trial:
Amber Heard never released from her contract
Hamada is asked by Depp’s lawyer if Amber Heard has ever been released from her Aquaman 2 contract.
“No,” Hamada responds.
Hamada is asked if she was ever released by Warner Bros. from her Aquaman 2 contract on or about February 22, 2021.
“No,” said Hamada.
Hamada is asked if Amber Heard was rehired for Aquaman 2 by Warner Bros.
“No,” said Hamada (my note: Heard had an option to return in her contract, so she was already contracted, so they didn’t have to rehire her as she was never released according to Hamada’s testimony).
Hamada is also asked if at any point in time did Warner Bros. reduce Ms. Heard’s role in Aquaman 2.
“Besides the role in the film that she has it was determined in the early draft of the script which would have been 2018, I would say, the character’s role is what it was from the beginning,” said Hamada.
Hamada is questioned if her role was ever reduced for any reason.
“No. Again from the early stages of the development of the script, the movie was built around the character of Arthur and the character of Orm,” explained Hamada. “Arthur being Jason Momoa. Orm being Patrick Wilson. So they were always the two co-leads of the movie.”
The head of the DC films is asked if Warner Bros. ever planned to portray Amber Heard as the co-lead in Aquaman 2.
“No. The movie was always pitched as a buddy comedy between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson,” replied Hamada.
Hamada also confirmed Amber Heard was paid for both Aquaman movies and is asked if her compensation for Aquaman 2 was affected by anything said by Johnny Depp or Adam Waldman or anybody representing Johnny Depp.
“No,” he replied to all three questions.
Amber Heard and Jason Momoa chemistry issues were creative concerns
Walter Hamada is then asked if there was any delay in Warner Bros. exercising the option to cast Amber Heard in Aquaman 2, to which he said “yes” and confirmed the delay lasted “probably weeks” and added that the reason for the delay was because of conversations about recasting and creative concerns.
“Those are the concerns that were brought up at the wrap of the first movie, the end of production, which was the issue of chemistry, did the two have chemistry,” said Hamada about the concerns surrounding the chemistry between Amber Heard and Jason Momoa. “I think editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie, but there was a concern it took a lot of effort to get there, and would we be better off recasting and finding someone who had more natural better chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward with that.”
Hamada also confirmed they never had any auditions to recast Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman 2, that there were no other concerns other than creative concerns about bringing back Amber Heard for Aquaman 2, that Johnn Depp had no role in their decision to option Heard for Aquaman 2, and that Heard was never going to get more money for Aquaman 2 (my note: all of this rebutted Heard’s expert witness testimony from Monday).
It’s Heard’s lawyer’s turn who then asks Hamada if he ever spoke to Jason Momoa about the chemistry between him and her.
“Yes, it would have been in that same time period, prior to greenlighting that movie,” said Hamada who was also asked about when the first script was written, which he answered in the “latter of 2018,” and said there were a half dozen scripts by 2021.
“The fact that they didn’t have a lot of chemistry together. The reality is it’s not uncommon in movies for two leads to not have chemistry and that it’s sort of movie magic and editorial, the ability to put performances together with the magic of a great score, and how you put the pieces together, you can fabricate sort of that chemistry,” explained Hamada. “At the end of the day, I think if you watch the movie, they look like they had great chemistry, but I just know that through the course of the post-production it took a lot of effort to get there. Sometimes it’s very easy, you just put the characters on the screen together and they work, and sometimes it’s harder.”
He is then asked if he can give anything specific about what was difficult about the chemistry between Amber Heard and Jason Momoa.
“No, it’s like what makes a movie star a movie star, you know it when you see it, and the chemistry wasn’t there,” answered Hamada.
Production went smoothly for Aquaman 2
Heard’s lawyer asks about what was meant by fabricating the chemistry between Amber Heard and Jason Momoa.
‘It’s editorial. A good editor and a good filmmaker can pick the right tapes, can pick the right moments, and put scenes together, again score is big, the music in a scene makes a big difference, you can make a happy scene feel sadder or a sad scene feel happier, it’s just the magic of post-production, editing, sound, sound design, music, etc.” said Hamada.
Heard’s lawyer says it’s the filmmakers’ job to do the best which saw Hamada agree, but Hamada said, “Sometimes it’s easier than others. This was more difficult because of the lack of chemistry between the two, but James Wan and the editor were able to get it to a place where the end result actually works, and it’s great.”
Walter Hamada is shown a text message exchange between Aquaman director James Wan and Amber Heard where James Wan texted Amber Heard that she rated “really high with the audience,” and said Amber Heard tested well with Aquaman test audiences during test screenings.
“She tested well,” confirmed Wan who also went on to confirm he reached out to reps for Heard about the creative concerns about Aquaman 2 and said there were no documents about creative concerns about Amber Heard in Aquaman 2 and that they were all conversations, and that “production went smoothly for Aquaman 2″ (spoilers here for Mera in the sequel revealed at the trial).