Could Amber Heard Actually Get Recast In Aquaman 2 After Johnny Depp Trial Brouhaha?

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

UPDATE: Amber Heard's spokesperson has since denied that the actress has been removed from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The original story continues below.

Back in late 2020, after Johnny Depp stepped away from the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, a petition was created pushing for Amber Heard, Depp’s ex-wife, to be removed from the DC Extended Universe and have the role of Mera recast. Not only did that petition recently cross 4.5 million signatures, Heard’s involvement in the Aquaman movies was brought up during the defamation trial between Heard and Depp. Now, in the aftermath of that legal saga, word’s come in that Heard may actually be recast in Aquaman 2, a.k.a. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

This claim comes from JustJared, which is reporting that Warner Bros. has decided to recast Amber Heard for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom after screen-testing the movie. The upcoming DC movie has reshoots planned with Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman, and allegedly that’s when the new actress taking over as Mera will be brought in. 

For now, it’d be worth taking this new information with a grain of salt, especially since it'd be strange for Warner Bros. to make a decision like this so late into the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom game. Still, if this rumor turns out to be accurate, then it would be a major shakeup for Aquaman’s corner of the DCEU. So far Amber Heard has appeared as Mera in both versions of Justice League and Aquaman, and she also shot extra scenes as the Xebellian princess for the extended Knightmare sequence in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Audiences have gotten used to her in the role, so if this insider’s information is the real deal, they’ll now have to get used a different woman bringing Mera to life on the silver screen.

For what it’s worth, even ignoring the previously-mentioned petition, Amber Heard being recast as Mera isn’t a prospect that comes entirely out of left field. During the defamation trial that concluded on June 1, Heard’s agent, Jessica Kovacevic said that Warner Bros. did consider recasting the role for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, although supposedly it wasn’t due to the actress’ messy split with Johnny Depp, but rather because the studio felt that Heard’s chemistry with Jason Momoa was lacking. The studio ultimately decided to bring Heard back for the sequel, but according to the rumor JustJared passed along, WB has opted to reverse that decision ahead of Aquaman 2’s reshoots.

Assuming that Amber Heard is indeed out of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (and in case I haven't made it abundantly clear already, that's a big if), it’s also worth mentioning that we may not see a lot of the new actress in the role. Heard revealed at the defamation trial that the creative minds behind the sequel “basically took out a bunch” of her role. It had previously been alleged that Heard has less than 10 minutes of screentime, and while Heard didn’t confirm that amount, she made it clear that we wouldn’t being seeing nearly as much of her compared to the first Aquaman movie. As such, this actress taking over as Mera might not have a lot to do in The Lost Kingdom, although it’s possible that with Heard gone and this new person coming aboard, part of the reshoots could involve expanding Mera’s role.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Amber Heard’s place in it, but CinemaBlend will continue sharing updates as this picture becomes clearer. The sequel dives into theaters on March 17, 2023

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.