Aquaman 2 Director Defends Decision to Cut Back Amber Heard's Role In Sequel

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Amber Heard, Aquaman

After Amber Heard's role as Mera was cut back for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, director James Wan defended his decision to make that move.

Heard's place in Aquaman 2 has been a major talking point amongst fans following the highly-publicized defamation trial against her ex-husband, Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp.

Wan and other Warner Bros. executives shared messages welcoming Heard back to this film's cast, although public opinion surrounding the actress is causing concern for Aquaman 2's potential success in theaters.

Aquaman 2 Director Defends Amber Heard's Smaller Role

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman movie

Speaking in the latest edition of Empire Magazine, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan defended the decision for Amber Heard's Mera to have a reduced role in the sequel as compared to her significant supporting role in the first movie.

During Heard's defamation trial against Johnny Depp, she claimed that Warner Bros. cut some of her scenes in Aquaman 2, blatantly telling the courtroom that the studio "didn't want to include [her] in the film."

Wan admitted that this was a fair statement, noting that "she wasn't in [his] head" while developing the film, which was always planned as "an outright buddy comedy" centered on Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry and his brother, Patrick Wilson's Orm:

"It’s fair that [Heard] said that [about the character being pared down], because she wasn’t in my head as I was working on this movie. Actors don’t necessarily know what we [directors] behind the scenes are thinking about. But this was always my plan. From the start, I pitched that the first film would be a 'Romancing The Stone'-type thing — an action-adventure romantic comedy — while the second would be an outright buddy comedy. I wanted to do 'Tango & Cash!'"

How Will Amber Heard Be Used in Aquaman 2?

Fans got only a quick glimpse at Amber Heard's Mera in the first trailer for Aquaman 2, with reports about her lessened role in the sequel seemingly proving to be true.

Although this appears to be more due to the story being told rather than Heard's status in the public eye after her trial, there's no question that her presence will be a talking point considering all the circumstances.

An exclusive report from The Direct noted Mera will become a mother to the new heir of Atlantis in Aquaman 2, which has since been confirmed following her baby's appearance in the sequel's first trailer.

And with this sequel being the final movie in the DC Extended Universe before James Gunn and Peter Safran's new universe begins, the fan reception to Heard's inclusion will be difficult to ignore.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will debut in theaters on December 20.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.