Heard’s name has been all over the news this past year as a defamation lawsuit between her and Johnny Depp made very public waves. By the end of the trial, the actress was found guilty by the jury.
Many fans have wanted Heard off Aquaman 2 for a long time, especially since Depp was very quickly removed from the Fantastic Beasts franchise by WB while she had remained safe. Now, it seems that those previous rumors about Mera’s removal from The Lost Kingdom have turned out to be wrong.
Amber Heard’s Mera Not Cut
Industry insider KC Walsh has revealed that Amber Heard’s Mera will be staying in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom after all.
This comes as a surprise, given Heard's claims during court proceedings in May that Warner Bros. had diminished her role in the film in addition to rumblings that the studio would continue to tamper with her character's prominence.
Walsh confirmed that Mera’s role in the sequel, which is rumored to embody about 20 minutes of screentime, “[hasn’t been] reduced or shortened at all:”
“Yep, not reduced or shortened at all. I had a source say they were looking to cut her but sounds like that is not going to be the case.”
He continued, making it clear that the actress “remains throughout the film:”
“Heard remains throughout the film they didn’t cut her or shorten her stay at all.”
Even more shocking is that cuts were made elsewhere in the movie as opposed to Heard. The insider dropped the bombshell that Ben Affleck's cameo was removed from the film and Willem Dafoe’s Vulko “is not in the movie [and] he dies off-screen.”
What to Expect From Mera in Aquaman 2
Assuming Amber Heard was going to be cut at one point, flip-flops like this on WB’s side aren’t all too surprising. The plan for the DCU has changed drastically since that trial, and with James Gunn and Peter Safran now leading the studio, the future remains a mystery.
Maybe the two didn’t find the cuts worth it, as they have different plans entirely for that corner of the universe.
When it comes to Mera’s role in the sequel, sources previously informed The Direct that the movie would introduce Arthur and Mera’s son to the world. Her part to play in the movie almost certainly revolves around that plot point—though the full scale of Mera’s involvement is unknown.
Even if Heard remains in the final cut, the actress herself seemed to think that what she did film was only a fraction of the story the character originally had in the project.
Additionally, it’s a shame how Vulko may die off-screen entirely—truly a waste of Willem Dafoe’s talents. This is a change that was likely made for reasons behind the scenes, but it might be a while before audiences know why the choice was made.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters worldwide on Christmas Day 2023.