Amber Heard has given Aquaman fans a first good look at her return as Mera in the DC sequel, as she shared a selfie on her Instagram account showing her with the instantly recognisable bright red hair of the character. While the recent DC FanDome brought a chunk of behind the scenes footage for the Jason Momoa-led movie, the promo clip just left fans wanting more with the movie not arriving until the end of 2022. While Heard’s image doesn’t give away anything else about the film, it is just another sign of the production being well underway on land as well as at sea.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is holding its cards pretty close to its chest when it comes to plot details and such, but the relatively recent title reveal at least gave some hint at the movie’s focus being on the Kingdom of Atlantis. The behind the scenes footage released at DC FanDome featured, among a number of action pieces, one shot of Heard in costume, but with her hair tied back, possibly because the movie features a number of underwater scenes. The photo shared by Heard looks more like she is preparing to move to some land shooting.
Of course, Heard’s role in the Aquaman sequel has not always been a certainty, with many fans of Johnny Depp having called for the role of Mera to be recast and threatened to boycott the movie over her involvement. While this sentiment gained a lot of attention during the early development of the movie, it has become clear over time that Warner Bros. had no intention of removing Heard from the movie and the calls for her sacking have begun to dwindle over time, although there is likely to be rejuvenated outcry when the movie moves closer to release.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will see Jason Momoa and Amber Heard joined by fellow returnees Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison and Indya Moore, once more all under the direction of James Wan. Before Momoa took on the role of the aquatic superhero, Aquaman was not one of the most popular of DC’s roster of characters, having been more associated with a number of jokes about his fishy abilities, and while he still hasn’t risen in profile enough to bother the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman at the top of the DC tree, the Atlantean powerhouse has certainly seen a resurgence in interest in the last few years.
While 2018’s first solo movie mostly served as an introduction to the character after his Justice League debut, and set up exactly where Arthur Curry sits in his world, the new film will seemingly be taking a different turn as it looks to address a number of current real world environmental and climate change issues. Superhero movies have to deliver action-packed adventures to entertain all generations of cinemagoers, but that doesn’t mean that they are not a powerful opportunity for filmmakers and studios to get across important messages to their audiences – if done right and not so heavy handed the project becomes a big budget PSA. Marvel have already taken steps in this direction, with WandaVision being a study in grief and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier examining the place of Black Americans in society. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be one of the first DC movies to feature a current social issue at its core.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is released in theaters on December 16th, 2022.