DC chief says Amber Heard’s Aquaman 2 role was ‘NOT affected by Johnny Depp’

Amber Heard’s legal team rested its case Tuesday without calling Johnny Depp to the stand
Walter Hamada, President of DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, testified via video deposition He denied that Heard’s compensation was affected by anything said by Depp or his lawyer Adam Waldman

He admitted there was a weeks-long delay in confirming that Head would take part in Aquaman 2 because of ‘conversations about recasting’ her role and considered ‘someone with better more natural chemistry’
‘You can fabricate that chemistry. If you watch the movie they look like they had great chemistry. It took a lot of effort to get there. Sometimes it’s very easy and sometimes it’s hard,’ Hamada said

Hamada denied that Warner Bros was considering paying Heard more for Aquaman 2 because a ‘big part of our philosophy was to hold actors to their original agreements

Heard’s legal team has claimed she could have renegotiated her fee from $2million for the first Aquaman movie to $6million for the second one
Warner Bros had to ‘fabricate’ chemistry between Amber Heard and Jason Momoa in postproduction of Aquaman and her role in the second film was not affected in ‘any way’ by anything Johnny Depp said, the defamation trial heard.

Walter Hamada, President of DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, testified via video deposition Tuesday and denied that Heard’s compensation was affected by anything said by Depp or his lawyer Adam Waldman.

However, he did admit there was a weeks-long delay in confirming that Heard would take part in Aquaman 2 because of ‘conversations about recasting’ her role.

Hamada said that the issues were raised as the filming of the first Aquaman film concluded because of the ‘chemistry’ between Heard and Momoa.

He said: ‘Editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the movie. There was a concern it took a lot of effort to get there.’

Warner Bros was considering ‘someone with better more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward that way.’

Hamada said that he did speak to Momoa about the chemistry problem when they were greenlighting Aquaman 2 but did not reveal what he said.

Under cross-examination from Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft Hamada said: ‘It’s not uncommon for two leads to not have chemistry.’

Hamada said, ‘It’s movie magic and editorial – the ability to put a performance together. You can fabricate that chemistry. If you watch the movie they look like they had great chemistry. It took a lot of effort to get there. Sometimes it’s very easy and sometimes it’s hard.’

Bredehoft asked what exactly was the chemistry between Heard and Momoa.

Hamada said: ‘It’s like what makes a movie star a movie star. You know it when you see it and it wasn’t there.’

Bredehoft asked: ‘What did you do to fabricate the chemistry?’

Hamada said: ‘It’s editorial. Pick the right takes, the right moments, and put scenes together. The music in the scene makes a big difference. Just the magic of post-production, editing, sound, music, etc.

Bredehoft asked if Hamada meant ‘literally falsifying’ the chemistry or something else like picking the music.

He said: ‘That’s what we do in post-production. On any production, you’re doing that. This one was more difficult because of the lack of chemistry but they were able to get it to a place where the end result works and it’s great.’

Hamada denied that Warner Bros was considering paying Heard more for Aquaman 2 because a ‘big part of our philosophy was to hold actors to their original agreements.

I Heard’s legal team has claimed she could have renegotiated her fee from $2million for the first Aquaman movie to $6million for the second one.

Hamada denied Heard’s claims her character, Mera, saw its role reduced dramatically including having an action scene taken away from her.

Under questioning from one of Depp’s lawyers, he said that the ‘character’s involvement was what it was from the beginning.’

Hamada said that ‘from the early stages of development of the script the movie was building around the character of Arthur and Orm’, played by Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson respectively.

They were ‘always the co-leads of the movie’ and not Heard. Hamada said: ‘The movie was always pitched as a buddy comedy between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson.’

The court heard a text from Aquaman director James Wan to Heard in August 2018 which said: ‘You rated really high with the audience!!!’

Hamada said it would have been after a test screening.

Heard’s legal team rested its case without calling Depp to the stand as previously planned.

This came as the judge in the Depp vs. Heard case rejected a request to strike Amber Heard’s $100m counterclaims after a fiery exchange of rhetoric from both sides.

Judge Penney Azcarate ruled there was enough evidence to show that Adam Waldman was working as a lawyer for Johnny Depp.

There was also ‘more than a scintilla of evidence’ Waldman made claims to the media that Heard’s claims were a hoax while knowing they were false.

That is the required test for defamation case law, which is also known as ‘actual malice’

The decision came after Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew claimed there was no ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that Waldman made defamatory statements knowing they were false.

Chew said that Waldan ‘had very reasonable grounds and he did believe and will to his dying day that Miss Heard’s claims were patently false.’

According to Chew Depp ‘has no issue with women’s rights, he supports women’s rights, adding that he made a $100,000 donation each to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as part of his $7m divorce settlement with Heard.

Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn cut in to accuse Chew of ‘making an argument to the cameras’ that was ‘disrespectful to the court.’

Judge Azcarate allowed Chew to continue.

Chew said that Heard and the ACLU engaged in a ‘conspiracy’ to cover up her ‘failure’ to donate $7million to the organization and the children’s hospital as she promised.

Chew said that Heard and the ACLU ‘intentionally and very cleverly’ made the 2018 Washington Post op-ed about Depp without naming him.

He claimed that ‘everyone knew darn well this was about Mr. Depp’ and said it was a ‘cynical runaround’ coordinated by a ‘brainiac lawyer’ at the ACLU.

The article came out to coincide with the release of the movie Aquaman, Heard’s biggest to date and the ‘charade this had something to do with public policy is risible’, Chew said.

Chew accused Heard’s lawyers of ‘game playing and that they toyed with the idea of calling Depp as a witness themselves to ‘fill a hole in their counterclaim’

According to Chew, Heard faced awkward questions when the ‘MeToo folks say why to take $7million from an abuser,’ referring to Depp, so claimed she gave the money away.

He claimed she ‘did stiff the sick and dying children by failing to give $3.5million to the children’s hospital.

In response, Rottenborn said that three was ‘plenty of evidence of actual malice and said Depp and Waldman ‘conspired to falsely accuse Amber’.

Rottenborn said: ‘Mr. Waldman was standing in the shoes of Mr. Depp. They are one and the same.’

One of the most egregious examples of Waldman’s conduct was how he filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department that Heard committed perjury and then planted the story with a German TV station.

Rottenborn said: ‘That’s a shameful and sickening example of the lengths Mr. Depp through Mr. Waldman would go to smear and defame Miss Heard.’

According to Rottenborn Depp’s lawyers were ‘totally misrepresenting’ the evidence about the ACLU.

There was ‘not a single piece of evidence that the ACLU was ‘conspiring’ to defame Depp

However, there was ‘plenty of evidence that shows there was ‘no hoax perpetrated.’

Rottenborn said: ‘Mr. Depp is an abuser who abused Miss Heard.’

The surgeon who operated on Depp’s hand admitted that he could have trashed Amber Heard’s wardrobe three days after he put a cast on it.

David Kulber, a hand surgeon at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, said that Depp had ‘his other hand available’ to throw over the racks of clothes and shoes at his apartment on March 23, 2015.

Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn asked: ‘Regardless of whether Mr. Depp grabbed someone, he could have grabbed someone with the hand without the cast on?

Dr. Kulber said: ‘Correct’

The admission under questioning from Heard’s lawyer came after one of Depp’s lawyers asked him about the treatment of Depp’s severed fingertip after a fight with Heard in Australia that month.

Dr. Kulber said the surgery was needed because of a fracture and ‘soft tissue loss’.

He put Depp’s hand in a splint with plaster on top and the bottom to protect the hand.

Asked if Depp could grab somebody with the cast on, Dr. Kulber said he could but the two fingers next to his right index finger wouldn’t be able to move.

Depp kept a pin in his finger for around 12 days and he was treated for several months because he developed an infection and had to be on antibiotics for some time.

One of Depp’s lawyers asked if Depp could have hit somebody while wearing the cast.

Dr. Kulber said: ‘He could have. It probably would have damaged the cast.

Depp’s lawyers recalled Richard Marks, a Hollywood lawyer and expert on the entertainment industry.

He said that the claim by Heard’s Hollywood industry expert that she lost out on $50million of earnings as a result of having her claims branded a ‘hoax’ by Depp’s lawyers was incorrect.

Marks said: ‘My opinions are that she’s very slick and smooth but she’s not an expert in deal-making. Her assessment of damages is built on nothing and is wildly speculative’.

Marks said that Jason Momoa, Heard’s co-star in Aquaman, was ‘not a comparable actor’ to her so it doesn’t matter if he renegotiated his contract for the sequel.

He said: ‘He played Conan the Barbarian. He was in Game of Thrones, it’s not comparable.’

Doug Bania, Depp’s social media and internet analytics expert, was recalled to offer his assessment of evidence by Heard’s equivalent, Ron Schnell.

Bania said that Schnell ‘provided no evidence of a correlation between statements by Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman and spikes in negative hashtags about Heard.

According to Bania, Heard’s entertainment industry expert Kathryn Arnold came up with actors that are ‘not comparable’ to Heard to evaluate her loss of income.

Bania said: ‘Mr Schnell and Miss Arnold both failed to provide any evidence of causation as it relates to the Waldman statements causing harm to Miss Heard’.

Michael Spinder, a forensic accountant who gave evidence as an economic damages expert for Depp, was also recalled and said that Arnold used ‘unsound methodology’ for her calculations.

Bania examined the 2.7million tweets that Schnell used in his analysis for Heard’s legal team and said that they showed no correlation to the statements made by Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman about Heard’s claims being a hoax.

The analysis found that just two percent of tweets about Depp and Heard happened during April 2020 and June 2020, when Waldman made his comments to the media.

Some 35 percent took place between January 2018 and March 2020.

Bania claimed that the largest spike in the use of #justiceforjohnnydepp was in February 2020 and was before Waldman’s statements.

The next spike in July 2020 was ‘not related’ to Waldman’s statements as it happened after.

The third spoke, the second-biggest overall, was in November 2020 which was around the time articles were published about Heard returning to Aquaman 2.

Subsequent spikes related to efforts to replace Heard on the film and the UK libel trial between Depp and Heard.

Looking at the time period of the Waldman statements, Bania said: ‘For such a viral event that has (supposedly) caused such economic harm there are no spikes in this area.

‘I’m not seeing any correlation to the Waldman statements and the hashtags’.

Bania said there should have been a ‘big spike’ in the use of hashtags about Depp after Waldman’s comments but it wasn’t there.

He said: ‘The hashtags have nothing to do with the Waldman statements’.

Between April 2020 and January 2021, Bania said that he found just five tweets related to the comments by Waldman.

Bania looked for specific terms mentioned by Waldman such as ‘Abuse Hoax’ which was mentioned 749 times.

The phrase ‘Sexual Violence Hoax’ was never mentioned and ‘Fake Sexual Violence’ was mentioned twice.

That made a total of 751 tweets or 0.06 percent of the 1.2m tweets in this period using the hashtags #justiceforjohnnydepp, #amberheardisanabuser, #wejustdontlikeyouamber, or #amberturd

Source & Credit: thecareerbd.com

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