Aquaman 2 Wouldn’t Work Without Amber Heard’s Mera (Even Though She’s Barely In It)

Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom


Summary

  • Mera has a limited role in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom, appearing on-screen for less than 5 minutes and having about 9-10 lines.
  • Despite her limited screen time, Mera plays a crucial role, saving Aquaman three times throughout the film.
  • It’s unclear if Amber Heard’s legal disputes with Johnny Depp impacted Mera’s role, but there were reportedly some scenes involving Mera that were cut due to a lack of chemistry between Heard and Jason Momoa as well as alleged behind-the-scenes conflict.

Although her time in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom is limited, Amber Heard’s Mera plays a crucial role in the final movie of the DCEU. Starring Jason Momoa as the titular Aquaman, Mera is the Princess of Xebel who fell in love with Arthur Curry and became Aquaman’s wife and the Queen of Atlantis. However, Mera clearly does not have the same amount of spotlight she did in the first Aquaman movie.

As seen in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom, the new sequel is much more about Arthur’s relationship with his half-brother Orm who tried to war with the surface world in the first film. To that end, Mera very much takes a back seat in terms of screen time, though she is still an invaluable piece to the sequel’s overall plot. Here’s Mera’s limited role explained, why it’s still so crucial, and whether Amber Heard’s very public trial with Johnny Depp had anything to do with Mera’s very limited screen time in the new DC movie.

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What Happened To Mera After The First Aquaman Movie?

Wedding, Pregnancy, and Ruling As Queen

As explained by Aquaman’s opening narration in The Lost Kingdom, Aquaman and Mera were married shortly after the events of the first movie. Mera later gave birth to their son named Arthur Jr. (also known in the comics as Aquababy). Living on the land with Arthur’s father at the Amnesty Bay lighthouse, Mera and Arthur rule the Seven Kingdoms with Mera doing her best to hold court while Arthur sleeps through proceedings. They also grapple with the overseeing council that continually barres Arthur’s efforts to foster coexistence between the land and the sea.

As a result, Mera can be seen in a few new shots of this opening montage along with recycled footage from the first Aquaman. The new shots include Mera sitting next to Aquaman on his throne while also doing laundry while Arthur cares for their son. However, the emergent crisis of a corrupted Black Manta and his newly acquired trident puts both the land and sea in danger with an imminent global meltdown and the dark return of Necrus, the cursed Lost Kingdom of the seven seas and its ruler King Kordax, the evil and imprisoned brother of King Atlan.

Exactly How Much Is Amber Heard’s Mera In Aquaman 2

Short Scenes Throughout

Mera in Aquaman 2 Trailer

While Mera has appearances throughout Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom, they are quite brief and largely relegated to action sequences. In total, Amber Heard’s Mera appears on-screen for less than 5 minutes of the DCEU movie. Mera only has about 9-10 lines across the entirety of the new film as well. Furthermore, Mera is absent from the movie’s entire second act after she gets critically injured by one of Black Manta’s optic blasts during his attack on Atlantis, forcing her to recover on the sidelines while Aquaman breaks his half-brother Orm out of prison to locate Manta and figure out his next move.

On a character level, Mera’s limited role in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom is quite surprising. After all, she had a huge role in the first movie as a key character who was by Aquaman’s side, helping him realize his potential to become King of Atlantis while also helping him prevent his brother’s war with the surface world. In comparison, Mera’s role in the sequel is so much smaller, though this was likely due to a combination of the film’s plot combined with behind-the-scenes strife and notable public controversy regarding Heard herself.

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Mera Saves Aquaman 3 Times In The Lost Kingdom

He’d Have Died Without Her

Jason Momoa as Aquaman Floating Underwater Looking Past The Camera In Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Although her role was small, it’s worth noting that Mera saves Aquaman on three separate occasions in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom. Going beyond the fact that she’s the mother of Arthur’s child, her role was critical in the movie as Arthur would have literally died had she not been there.

In the film’s first act, Mera saves Aquaman from being killed by Black Manta during his attack on Atlantis, an act which results in her own serious injury courtesy of Black Manta’s new costume and his classic optic blasts. Once she recovers, Mera then arrives at the start of the third act to save Aquaman again who’d been pinned by a massive rock below Devil’s Deep, using her powerful hydro-kinesis to rescue him. Mera finally saves Arthur for a third time during his battle with Black Manta before the thrown of King Kordax, preventing Manta from stabbing Aquaman and giving him the chance to gain the upper hand.

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Was Mera’s Role Changed Due To Amber Heard’s Trial?

It’s Hard To Say

Amber Heard

Although Amber Heard has claimed her role was reduced due to her public legal dispute with ex-husband Johnny Depp, director James Wan has refuted those claims with the explanation that the Aquaman sequel was always going to be focused on Arthur and Orm and was envisioned as “a bromance action-adventure movie.” To that end, it certainly seems as though this is true as the entire narrative is very much focused on Aquaman and the former Ocean Master creating a strong bond as brothers.

That being said, it was reported by Variety that there were two deleted scenes involving Mera that were indeed cut due to a lack of chemistry between Momoa and Heard, as well as the fact that Heard was nearly fired due to alleged conflicts with both Momoa and Wan, though the claims of toxic behavior have been strongly denied by Warner Bros. In any event, it does not seem as though Mera’s role in Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom was reduced any more than was already intended due to her trial, though it is clear that there were definite challenges behind the scenes regarding Heard all the same.

Aquaman and the lost kingdom movie poster

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the sequel to the 2018 film that sees Jason Momoa reprise his role as Arthur Curry (AKA Aquaman.) In the film, Aquaman is forced to forge a strained alliance with a new ally to protect his kingdom of Atlantis and the world from total destruction. 

Release Date
December 22, 2023

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
124 Minutes

Genres
Action , Adventure , Superhero

Writers
David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick

Budget
$205 Million

Studio(s)
DC Studios , Safran Company , Atomic Monster

Distributor(s)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Key Release Dates

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