Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Director James Wan Downplays Amber Heard's Role in Sequel

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's director is downplaying Amber Heard's role in the sequel.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan says that Amber Heard's role in the sequel has not been reduced. Rather, the filmmaker explained that Mera and Aquaman's romance in the sequel was never going to be the focal point anyway. In a new feature from EW, Wan talked about everything circling the Jason Momoa blockbuster this winter. Well, when the topic of Amber Heard's comments about her role being "downsized" due to negative publicity surrounding Johnny Depp's trial, the director had plenty to say.

Wan described the first movie as centered on both Arthur's return to Atlantis and the romance with Mera. This time around, there would be more of a focus on Orm and his brother getting to know each other. Add in a healthy role increase for Yahya Abuld Mateen II and you've got the recipe for a very different outing with Momoa's hero.

The director would explain, "I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera's journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We'll leave it at that."

Amber Heard's Testimony About Aquaman 2

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(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

During the Johnny Depp trial, Heard argued that some of the attention made it hard to keep her role in the film. On the stand, she described her situation. "I fought really hard to stay in the movie. They didn't want to include me in the film," Heard testified. When it came to her ability to film scenes for the movie in the role of Mera, the actress also said her experience was, "A very pared down version of that role, yes."

"I was given a script," she continued. "Then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it, that depicted my character and another character, without giving any spoilers away. Two characters fighting with one another. They basically took a bunch out of my role. They just removed a bunch."

What Goes Into Crafting An Aquaman Story?

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Every one of these entries ends up feeling a bit disconnected from the DCEU at large. Part of that is due to the location and part of that is due to Aquaman's status as a hero. In the eyes of James Wan, that isolation really speaks to something about Jason Momoa's performance of the character. The director previously told ComicBook.com how he approaches this franchise compared to other heroes.

"Aquaman – even the first film – has always been a very standalone film. That was always our approach: that it kind of lives in its own world, and that's kind of how we've approached The Lost Kingdom as well," Wan previously told ComicBook. "You know, people love Jason Momoa; people love him playing this role; and people love the action visuals of this space and this world. And that's what we're doing: we're taking it to the next level and we are still expanding – and just any fans of Aquaman the character, that love Black Manta, this is the next level and I'm very excited to finally put out there to show them what we've been working on all these years."

What Awaits Arthur in Aquaman 2?

In Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom , which arrives in theaters on December 20th, when an ancient power is unleashed, Aquaman must forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will see the return of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Amber Heard as Mera , Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta , and Randall Park as Stephen Shin. Jani Zhao will play new character Stingray, Indya Moore will play Karshon, and Vincent Regan will play Atlan, who was previously portrayed by Graham McTavish in Aquaman . Pilou Asbaek has also joined the cast in a mystery role.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is directed by James Wan , with a script from David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick . Producers include Wan and DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran.

How much will Heard be in Aquaman 2? Let us know in the comments below!