After Aquaman proved to be DC's most successful solo movie ever, anticipation has been high for the Jason Mamoa-led sequel. Excitement for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has unfortunately been tarnished by the inclusion of Amber Heard's Mera, as the actress is currently at the forefront of a Hollywood scandal following her defamation trial against her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
Having previously accused her ex-husband of abuse, the court found Heard's claims to be false and awarded Depp compensation for the defamation of his character. Following the conclusion of the trial, many have grown eager to see Warner Bros. replace Heard as Mera, just as they previously did with Depp's role as Grindlewald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Spoiler-filled plot details confirming the inclusion of a baby in the upcoming DC film were one of the numerous revelations surrounding the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom that the trial delivered.
The trial also revealed that Warner Bros. did have talks about replacing the actress in the Aquaman sequel, in addition to doubtful comments regarding Heard's DC future.
In the aftermath, Warner Bros. just recently held a test screening for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom that gave Heard's Mera an extended screen time of 20-25 minutes. It's safe to say fans weren't happy with the news, as a boycott of the sequel has since emerged, calling for the actress to be either recast or for her character to be removed altogether.
Was Amber Heard Cut from Aquaman 2?
Amber Heard has responded to a report from Just Jared that stated the actress had been fired from Aquaman 2.
TMZ obtained a comment on the recasting rumors from a spokesperson for Amber Heard, who denied that Amber Heard had been cut from Aquaman 2. The spokesperson calls the recast rumors "inaccurate, insensitive, and slightly insane:"
"The rumor mill continues as it has from Day One -- inaccurate, insensitive, and slightly insane."
TMZ has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment but has yet to receive a response. There's every possibility Heard would not yet be aware she will be replaced in Aquaman 2 if the decision has only recently been made, or her team may simply be avoiding a difficult PR situation, or perhaps the reports were simply false.
Just Jared also updated its original article to note that some sources close to the production have told them Heard has not been cut and still has a small role, while other insiders still insist Mera will be recast for the upcoming sequel.
Warner Bros. will be conducting reshoots for the sequel with Jason Mamoa and Nicole Kidman, with Heard's appearance in the sequel still unknown.
This viral controversy of a recast came just days after a viral boycott of Aquaman 2 began to spread over social media due to the controversy surrounding Heard.
Warner Brothers Recent Talent Trouble
The highly acclaimed movie studio, Warner Brothers, have been in the news a lot lately, and for all the wrong reasons.
Amber Heard has certainly been one of the most talked-about stars in Hollywood for the past month because of the recent Defamation lawsuit Johnny Depp won against Ms. Heard.
Warner Brothers and Aquaman 2 was brought up frequently in these hearing. DC Films President Walter Hamada even testified in Depp's defamation trial against Heard that the studio had conversations about recasting the actress.
The Flash star Ezra Miller has also been in the news lately for a series of bizarre crimes in Hawaii.
Miller was recently arrested twice in the space of only a month in Hawaii under charges of harassment and assault. A couple later filed for a restraining order against the actor after reportedly threatening to burn and kill the pair.
Most troubling, as if it could get any worse, Ezra is accused of grooming an underage child. The child's parents have filed a restraining order against Ezra, but the courts are currently unable to locate The Flash star to actually serve him this restraining order.
Ezra went to Instagram to respond to these allegations with a series of bizarre memes, including one stating "you cannot touch me, I am in another universe".
As of the morning of June 16th, Ezra and the child's whereabouts are currently unknown.
Who Could Replace Amber Heard as Mera?
With the level of controversy currently surrounding Amber Heard, most won't be shocked to hear Warner Bros. might be thinking about replacing her as Mera. Based on the latest test screening, Heard reportedly appears in 20-25 minutes of the movie, meaning if they were to recast, reshoots would have to be fairly extensive.
Going off the assumption that DC will be looking for an actress of similar age to the 36-year-old Heard, some popular choices among fans have included Blake Lively and upcoming MCU star Emilia Clarke. But at the same time, Warner Bros. replaced Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, even though the two look nothing alike, so no options should be ruled out.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently slated for release in nine months on March 17, 2023. Fans would expect an official announcement of Heard's recasting to come soon if this rumor is accurate.