The first Aquaman movie was another in a long string of hugely successful superhero films. Its tone was a little stranger than many other superhero films, but it attracted a massive audience nonetheless.
Aquaman 2 started filming in London in July 2021, and many fans have beein speculating about whether Amber Heard, who played Mera in the first film, is going to be recast.
Will Amber Heard be replaced in 'Aquaman 2'?
The speculation about Amber Heard being replaced started after her legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp began to dominate headlines. Johnny sued Amber for defamation, claiming that her allegations of abuse are untrue. Although that lawsuit is still ongoing, Amber has already clarified that it will not impact her ability to participate in Aquaman 2, which is expected to hit theaters in 2022.
Rumors began to swirl that Amber was going to be replaced by former Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, although those rumors may have been unfounded. Emilia worked with fellow Aquaman star Jason Momoa on Game of Thrones, so fans know that the two have chemistry. At least for now, though, it seems like Warner Bros. and DC are sticking with Amber.
Additionally, Ryan Parker of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted back in February he has it on good authority that Amber will not be replaced in the Aquaman movies. This includes Aquaman 2, despite the ongoing rumors that claim Amber is no longer part of the sequel.
At the time, Australian entertainment news website Sausage Roll reported that because Amber allegedly broke a clause in her Aquaman contract regarding her weight and appearance, she was fired from the sequel. The outlet said she violated the terms that require her to be in a certain shape in order to properly perform in her role.
Thankfully, Aquaman 2 producer Peter Safran set the record straight once and for all in Deadline's Hero Nation podcast, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter: "I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You gotta do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it’s [director] James Wan and [star] Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was."
He also added that the studio is well aware of the fan petitions to keep Amber off the movie, but said, "One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it."
When will 'Aquaman 2' hit theaters?
Aquaman 2 began filming in July 2021, but the entire release schedule for many major studios is in flux as a result of COVID-19. The movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 16, 2022, almost exactly four years after the first movie was released.
Jason and Amber will both be returning for the sequel, as will director James Wan, who also directed the first film. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is also expected to return for the sequel to play Black Manta, a major villain in the Aquaman canon.
In the time since his appearance in the first film, Yahya has become much more well-known thanks to his role in Watchmen. Now, he may be the big bad in Aquaman 2, which has the full title Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.