Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League director Zack Snyder convinced Mera actress Amber Heard to join the DC Extended Universe because the formidable love interest of Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is a strong female character and not a damsel in distress.
“I’m allergic to being the damsel, the two-dimensional archetype of what women are often limited to in this industry, especially in the superhero world,” Heard told the print version of Entertainment Weekly.
“Zack got me at ‘warrior queen.’ He said, ‘You get a sword and a crown,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay.’”
Heard debuted as the Atlantean princess in Justice League, where she helped guard a mother box highly coveted by Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).
After the villain escaped with his prize, Mera told Aquaman his mother, Alanna (Nicole Kidman), would have seen it as her duty to follow Steppenwolf to the surface world and prevent him from collecting and wielding the power of all three mother boxes.
Fans got a new look at Heard's aquatic superheroine courtesy of Entertainment Weekly magazine, which featured the character on both the cover and behind-the-scenes stills.
“Mera is a personal favorite of mine, and she's the damn queen of Atlantis,” Heard told Allure ahead of her debut in Justice League. “Daughter of the king of Xebel, she's a fighter and she has the power to use hydrokinesis, the ability to control water. Her appearance on the big screen is long overdue.”
James Wan’s solo movie starts off with Momoa’s Aquaman and Heard’s Mera “not quite clicking with each other,” the Conjuring and Furious 7 director told Bustle in 2016.
“But then as the story progresses as they learn to try and work together, they get closer and closer. I think those stories are always such a great place for a filmmaker like myself to have fun with my actors,” Wan said.
Of Heard, “I think Amber will bring that sense of strength, but at the same time, we also want someone who has a sort of feminine quality to her as well,” Wan said. “She’s a bit of a contrast to Momoa, who’s more of a muscular machine almost.”
Aquaman will debut its first trailer at San Diego Comic-Con next month before swimming into theaters December 21.