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If you’ve heard about actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lately, it’s most likely related to the ex-couple’s divorce proceedings and legal clashes. And as Depp and Heard continue throw allegations at one another, it’s starting to bleed over into professional lives. Last week, after losing his libel lawsuit, Depp stepped down from the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and now there’s talk about Heard possibly not being brought back to play Mera in Aquaman 2.
To be fair, while Johnny Depp’s Fantastic Beasts exit came from the actor himself, Amber Heard possible dismissal from Aquaman 2 comes from unconfirmed rumors and reports. Well, now the actress has set the record straight by debunking those claims and saying she will be back for another round as the DC Extended Universe’s Mera. In Heard’s words:
I'm super excited about the amount of fan love and the amount of fan appreciation that Aquaman has acquired and that it has garnered so much excitement for Aquaman and Mera that it means we'll be coming back. I’m so excited to film that.
So for those of you who have enjoyed Amber Heard’s work as Mera, you can look forward to her playing the Xebellian princess for a third time in Aquaman 2, assuming nothing changes between now and when the sequel begins filming. While 2018’s Aquaman saw Heard’s Mera featuring prominently alongside Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry, we were introduced to this version of the character in 2017’s Justice League. An alternate envisioning of how Mera and Arthur met will unfold when Zack Snyder’s Justice League drops on HBO Max as a four-part miniseries next year.
Of course, just because Amber Heard confirmed she’s playing Mera again for Aquaman 2 doesn’t mean everyone will be pleased. With so many negative allegations having been directed at Heard while her and Johnny Depp’s dirty laundry has been publicly aired, there’s a Change.org petition calling for Heard to be removed from Aquaman 2, and it’s collected over 1 million signatures. Here’s what Heard had to say about that, and the aforementioned dismissal rumors, when speaking with EW:
Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don't dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality. Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I'm excited to get started next year.
It was reported shortly before Aquaman’s release in December 2018 that a sequel was being considered, and the following month, Aquaman 2 was officially confirmed to be in development. Along with Amber Heard and Jason Momoa’s return, Aquaman 2 will see Yahya Abdul-Mateen II reprising Black Manta, which is fitting given what happened in the first movie’s mid-credits scene. It’s possible Patrick Wilson might also return as Ocean Master.
Behind the cameras, Aquaman co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick will return to pen the sequel, and James Wan is expected to sit back in the director’s chair. As for when Aquaman 2 will begin filming, Amber Heard said the plan is for cameras to start rolling sometime in 2021. However, given how the health crisis continues to impact productions, we’ll have to wait and see if the Aquaman 2 cast and crew can indeed begin work next year, or if drastic circumstances will force principal photography to be delayed.
For now, Aquaman 2 is slotted for December 16, 2022. Keep track of the other DC movies are are coming down the creative pipeline with our comprehensive guide.