High hopes have been placed on the Jason Mamoa-led sequel to Aquaman, which was DC’s most financially successful solo film ever. The inclusion of Amber Heard as Mera has dampened anticipation for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, as the actress is at the center of a Hollywood scandal related to her defamatory trial against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Heard had publicly accused her ex-husband of abuse, but a court ruled that her claims were untrue and awarded Depp damages for the harm done to his reputation. The verdict in the trial has many fans hoping that Warner Bros. will replace Heard with someone else to play Mera, much as they did with Johnny Depp to play Grindlewald in the Fantastic Beasts films.
Numerous spoiler-filled revelations about the upcoming DC film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom were delivered during the trial. The trial also disclosed that Warner Bros. had discussed casting someone else in the role of Aquaman 2 and had expressed doubts about Heard’s future with DC.
After this backlash, Warner Bros. recently conducted a test screening of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, giving Heard’s Mera an extra 20-25 minutes of screen time. Fans, understandably, were disappointed by the news, and a movement calling for a boycott of the sequel and a replacement of the actress or the character she played has since emerged. It seems that the producers of the Aquaman sequel may have taken the boycott seriously.
Following a recent test screening, Amber Heard reportedly will not be included in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Warner Bros. has decided to recast Amber Heard as Mera for Aquaman 2 and future DCEU appearances, and Jason Mamoa and Nicole Kidman will be reshooting their scenes for the sequel.
Walter Hamada, president of DC Films, gave testimony in Heard’s defamation trial against Johnny Depp that the studio discussed recasting the actress. Reports of a recast have surfaced just days after a social media-driven boycott of Aquaman 2 gained momentum in response to the controversies surrounding Heard.
An Amber Heard representative has commented to TMZ on the recasting rumors, calling them “inaccurate, insensitive, and slightly insane:”
“The rumor mill continues as it has from Day One — inaccurate, insensitive, and slightly insane.”
Most people probably aren’t surprised that Amber Heard isn’t being cast as Mera in the upcoming Aquaman movie because of the controversy she’s been embroiled in. According to the most recent screening, Heard is in about 20–25 minutes of the film, so the reshoots will likely be substantial.
Fans have suggested actresses like Blake Lively and the soon-to-be-famous Emilia Clarke, both around the same age as Heard, as possible replacements for Heard. On the other hand, no possibilities should be discounted because Warner Bros. replaced Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, although the two look nothing alike.
The scheduled release date for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is March 17, 2023, which is nine months away. An official announcement will be made as soon as a replacement is cast for Heard in advance of the highly anticipated reshoots.