The past few years have seen questions mount of whether fans can expect Amber Heard in Aquaman 2. The sequel to James Wan’s surprising billion-dollar hit will release on Christmas Day 2023 and will see Jason Momoa return as the marine superhero Aquaman for DC Studios.
But a new photo stuns as it shows Emilia Clarke, Momoa’s castmate from HBO’s Game of Thrones, replacing Amber Heard as sea royalty, Mera.
When director James Wan’s Aquaman (2018) hit movie theaters almost five years ago, it caused a stir. Collecting over $1 billion at the box office, Aquaman offered the struggling DC Extended Universe a safety net, showing that there still was an appetite for DC Comics superheroes on the big screen. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) hopes to replicate that success. But can it?
And despite the popular Jason Momoa starring as Arthur Curry, the titular Aquaman, there was anger from fans over the casting of Amber Heard as Mera. The actress, at the time, was in the early years of the backlash she would face as the months continued. The details of her relationship with actor and Hollywood star Johnny Depp had started to come out. In the following years, right through to the defamation lawsuit in Virginia last summer, Heard would face immense negativity from audiences.
Related: Reportedly Replacing Johnny Depp, Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Is Already Spoiled
In 2018, Heard wrote her — now-condemned — Op-Ed in The Washington Post. The essay detailed her victimhood of domestic abuse and violence. While never naming Johnny Depp, readers and the entertainment industry at large believed it to be documenting her life with the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
Depp continued working in film, appearing in the starring role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise’s second movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). His appearance here came just a year after he starred in his now-last Pirates of the Caribbean film for The Walt Disney Company. Depp’s role as Captain Jack Sparrow is one of world’s most recognizable and beloved takes on a character, making his removal from Jerry Bruckheimer‘s movies even harder to swallow for die-hard fans.
The actor would eventually be asked to resign by Warner Bros. from his role in the Harry Potter spinoff, after a ruling by Justice Andrew Nicol at the London High Court in July 2020 found Heard’s claims and allegations of domestic abuse to be “substantially true.” The libel lawsuit Depp launched against News Group Newspapers LTD came when The Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton called him a “wife-beater.”
So, with Depp out of Warner Bros. and Disney’s favor, losing his most commercial role ever for the latter, fans rallied behind the actor, and last year’s $50 million defamation proved there was still hope for the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp crowd.
The jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, found both parties had defamed the other but largely swayed in Depp’s favor and awarded him more damages than Heard. During the trial, and for months before, #FireAmberHeard ignited online with fans calling for her removal from Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Extended Universe.
Now, a photo shows what Mera could look like if she were taken over by Game of Thrones and Star Wars actress, Emilia Clarke. The image comes from Diego de Sousa (@diiegodesigner):
@emilia_clarke as Mera
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The fan art sees Clarke as Mera, and it’s clear the Daenerys Targaryen actress is wanted for the role, as rumors over the years have suggested that she could take over from Amber Heard as Mera.
Amber Heard in Aquaman 2
Of course, this is just a fan’s take on Clarke’s Mera, and those heading to see the DCEU sequel this December will encounter Heard in the role. However, how much of Heard’s Mera will be seen is still a question mark. Throughout the trial last year, it came to light that there were multiple rumors about the Mera star’s appearance in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, ranging from an increase in screen time to a reduction in screen time to even not being included at all.
While the expectation is high for Momoa’s return, reports made recently detail the “disastrous” test screenings the film is having, leading to worries from fans. The movie has also reportedly cut appearances from both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, who were returning as their respective franchise’s Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman. The duo, however, can be seen in this summer’s controversial The Flash (2023), which, as new co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn says, is “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made” and will reset everything, paving the way for the future, more streamlined DC Universe, led by Gunn and Peter Safran.
In addition to Jason Momoa and Amber Heard as Aquaman and Mera, the Aquaman sequel will feature Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.
Would you like to see Emilia Clarke replace Amber Heard as Mera in the DC film? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!