Amber Heard continues to dominate headlines following her trial loss to Johnny Depp. Now, multiple sources have conflicting reports about whether or not she will remain as Queen Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Heard signed on to play the role of Mera in 2018's Aquaman, which promptly became the biggest film in the DC Extended Universe with a global box office take of $1.148 billion. This all but guaranteed that Heard would return in the sequel, which is set to premiere next year.
Heard also got a vote of confidence from the filmmakers last year, saying that they're not going to "react to, honestly, pure fan pressure." But, in light of recent events, we wouldn't be surprised if it's the studio that's asking to replace Heard.
We already know from Heard's statement that Warner Bros. Discovery had reduced her role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, so it's not totally outside of the realm of possibility for studio executives to consider replacing her.
For now, this isn't the case, as denied by Heard's camp. A spokesperson for Heard told TMZ that the rumors of Warner Bros. replacing Heard as Mera in Aquaman 2 are false.
All things considered, it would make for a huge undertaking on Warner Bros.'s part to recast Heard this late in the schedule as Aquaman 2 had already finished filming in late December. Even if you factor in reshoots, Warner Bros. will still only have a few months to find someone to replace Heard even if she only has 10 minutes of screen time in the film.
Then again, it's not like it hasn't been done before. A more recent example is Tig Notaro and his late inclusion in Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead. After the internet "canceled" Chris D'Elia due to accusations of sexual misconduct in 2020, Snyder reportedly spent millions scrubbing D'Elia from Army of the Dead and replaced him with Notaro, all without bringing everyone back for reshoots.
Basically, Notaro starred in Army of the Dead despite joining practically at the last minute and not filming with the rest of the cast, using "green screen and CG technology." If Snyder can make something as expensive like that happen, Warner Bros. has no excuse.
In any case, DCEU fans can focus their attention somewhere more positive while waiting for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to hit theaters on March 17, 2023.
The year's first DCEU film, Black Adam, just got its first official trailer ahead of its premiere on October 21.