The DC Extended Universe is looking to heavily expand on its content in the next couple of years with five new movies and two new shows, many of them serving as sequels to what's come in the last eight years. This includes the follow-up to Warner Bros' highest-grossing film in the DCEU, Aquaman, which earned over $1 billion globally.
Recently titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, director James Wan and his team are in the early stages of filming to bring this highly-anticipated movie to life.
While the project will feature new talents like Pilou Asbaek in an undisclosed role, this outing will once again center on Arthur Curry star Jason Momoa and Mera actress Amber Heard. The latter's return has caused quite a bit of controversy, however, thanks to Heard's ongoing legal troubles with her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
However, this troublesome situation isn't bringing any doubts for Warner Bros. as they keep her in place for another superhero outing.
"IT SHOULD BE AMBER HEARD"
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom producer Peter Safran spoke with the Hero Nation Podcast, via Deadline, about the decision to bring Amber Heard back for the sequel as Mera.
HERO NATION: "Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have had some legal issues over the years, this is not the time to discuss those. But, you might have heard. One of the things that came out a number of times is that there were a number of supporters of Johnny’s who were petitioning to not have Amber back in Aquaman, who were making movies to that. Clearly unsuccessful. I wanted to ask, from your point of view, how did that impact upon you?"
When asked how Heard's legal situation impacted him and the team, Safran simply explained how the studio wouldn't "react to just pure fan pressure" and "accede to their wishes." He made it clear that if the movie brought back director James Wan and leading man Jason Momoa, then "it should be Amber Heard" joining them:
SAFRAN: "You know, I don’t think that we’re ever gonna react to just pure fan pressure. You gotta do what you feel best for the movie, and we felt that if it’s James Wan and Jason Momoa, then it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was. One is not unaware of what’s going on in the Twitterverse, but that doesn’t mean that you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what you feel is right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it, truthfully."
NO BENDING TO FAN PRESSURE
Amber Heard's legal situation has certainly been a tough one for Warner Bros. to navigate, especially considering the incredibly vocal nature of fans surrounding this matter.
No matter the kind of pressure the studio has faced, they've held steady on sticking with Heard. The actress has expressed her excitement to be back with Jason Momoa to expand on Mera's story, which is still being kept under wraps as the plot continues to develop.
Heard's future after this movie is still a mystery with no set plans for the Aquaman franchise to continue yet, but it seems evident that she'll try to continue to play the character for as long as she can. It appears that Safran and his team are of that same mindset, making it known that Heard is just as important to the sequel's success as anybody else.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently filming and will release in theaters on December 16, 2022.