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So What’s Going On With Mera in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’?

Photo of Mera, played by Amber Heard, in Aquaman.

Looks like the DCU is kicking back up again with a slate of new movies to compete with Marvel. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, directed by horror director James Wan, is set to come out on December 20, 2023. This time, the film intends to expand the established world-building of the first film, while keeping much of the original story intact.

Aquaman fans are wondering right now: What’s going on with Mera in Aquaman 2? Mera is both the Queen of Atlantis and Aquaman’s wife. She has her own telepathetic powers and can control the sea with relative ease, and as an important part of the story, fans have wondered what will happen with the character in Aquaman 2, in part because she’s played by Amber Heard.

So, we’re all pretty familiar with Heard by now. As we’ve talked about before, the disgusting Depp v. Heard trial and the way the world treated her will never cease to upset us. But some fans have speculated that the trial may have an enormous impact on her role in the film, as the smear campaign against her was fairly effective and had many Depp fans calling for Heard to be dropped from projects. According to, Heard is briefly seen in the trailer for a couple seconds and that’s basically it.

So what gives? Is the company trying to hide Heard due to the backlash? Apparently, yes. Heard said that she had to fight to even keep her role in the film. “I fought really hard to stay in the film,” she stated during the trial. “I was given a script and was given new versions of the script. They basically took a bunch out of my role.”

According to director James Wan, the reasons for this are because the story is more focused on the characters of Arthur and Orm: “I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm.”

With that being said, I believe Heard about her difficulties keeping her role. It’s far more likely that she was written out of story focus due to the trial and the attacks on her in the public discourse around it, which is wholly unfair.

(featured image: DC/Warner Bros)

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn’t exist.

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Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue,, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: