Depp’s team began its rebuttal argument today (24 May) with a video deposition from Walter Hamada, who is in charge of DC-based films.
In Hamada’s deposition, he confirmed that Heard did have an option contract with Warner Bros to play the role of Mera in the Aquaman franchise.
According to Hamada, Heard’s role was never reduced in the forthcoming sequel, instead, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was always intended to focus on the titular character and his friend, with Heard’s character secondary.
He said Heard’s involvement in the film was not impacted by anything said by Depp or his lawyer Adam Waldman.
Further, he explained that there had been a delay in casting due to ongoing discussions of recasting the role of Mera, as there were concerns of chemistry issues between Aquaman’s Jason Momoa and Heard.
“They didn’t really have a lot of chemistry together,” Hamada said. “The reality is, it’s not uncommon on movies for two leads to not have chemistry.”
He added that chemistry can be fabricated through “movie magic and editorial” and a “great score”.
“If you watch the movie, they look like they had great chemistry. I just know that through the course of the post-production it took a lot of effort to get there,” he said.
Hamada’s testimony comes a day after Heard’s agent testified that Momoa was “adamant” she reprise her role in the forthcoming sequel.
Heard previously testified that her role in Aquaman 2 was significantly cut down amid her battle with Depp. Meanwhile a petition calling for her removal from the Aquaman sequel is on the cusp of reaching 4.5 million signatures.
Depp is suing Heard for $50m (£39.7m) for allegedly implying he abused her in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post, and allegedly stopping him from landing the prominent Hollywood roles.
Heard is countersuing Depp for $100m (£79.4m) accusing him of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
You can follow live updates of the Depp-Heard trial here, as it moves towards final arguments and a verdict.