Aquaman star, Amber Heard, is also facing criticism ahead of her reprisal due to the public defamation lawsuit between herself and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, which she lost.
Amber Heard Comments on Aquaman 2
In talking about her next film and hopes for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom despite DC's latest string of superhero flops, Amber Heard acknowledged to Deadline, "There's a ton of pressure on these big franchise movies" and "compromises" are part of making the movie "the most successful thing it can be:"
"Oh, of course. These are very different kinds of projects representing two very different ends of the spectrum in my industry. There’s a ton of pressure on these big franchise movies, with millions and millions of dollars at stake, and compromises are part of trying to make it the most successful thing it can be. Then on the other end of the spectrum is a small indie film like 'In The Fire,' a work of art and work of love, with nowhere near the same resources, and so there are compromises there. The best luck you can have as an actor is to be able to balance both."
As for her role as Mera in Aquaman 2 which surprisingly (and for some fans, frustratingly) remains in spite of her civil case against Johnny Depp, Heard confessed that she's "honored" to be part of the franchise:
"'Aquaman,' that franchise and the machinery behind it, I’m very honored, honored to be a part of that. And then there are these small passion projects like 'In The Fire,' where I’m proud to have gotten to know the filmmaker and the cast, and we got dirty together, to breathe life into this story. There’s something cool about that, and I think success is an actor who is able to have both those things."
Will Amber Heard's Role Hurt Aquaman 2?
While only time will tell whether Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom can deliver in the wake of recent DCU flops, the public's view of Amber Heard could be a factor in the film's performance.
After all, Heard isn't the first controversial DCU star in recent months.
Ezra Miller's legal issues leading up to The Flash were equally public, leading some to believe they negatively affected ticket sales.
While Miller's situation differs from Heard's, and she plays a supporting character and not a lead, the fact remains that she - like Miller - is a controversial figure and will be difficult to explain, not to mention market to fans.
This is all the more surprising in light of reports that "[DC has] completely changed the plot" and Aquaman 2's own director, James Wan, admitting he's been making "mak[ing] adjustments all along the way" as the DC environment changes.
At the moment, it seems like the studio is gambling on audiences not being swayed by Amber Heard's role.
While surprising, especially since the last gasp of the DCU needs all the help it can get, it's also worth noting that Aquaman 2 was filmed prior to the actress's legal backlash.
Plus, it's unlikely that her Mera will continue into DCU Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in theaters on December 20.