Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom had another test screening and there is a buzz emanating from it along with some new intel. According to YouTuber Syl Abdul, the test audience is raving about the sequel and its visual effects score more highly than Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But the main thing coming to light is what’s up with Mera.
Abdul hears that Amber Heard is still in the film, at least the current cut, and Mera’s arc takes a turn that keeps her out of action for the most part. While she does not die, she reportedly lands “in the hospital” for a third of the running time despite being in some important, however unspecified, scenes.
Some of them are so pivotal, Abdul says, that Mera could not be removed and keep the plot coherent. “According to multiple sources…you can’t just remove Mera. Some scenes just wouldn’t even work,” the commentator revealed. His sources also told him Heard doesn’t have a lot of screen time which could open the door to recasting.
Someone like Emilia Clarke taking over has been long rumored and desired by fans. It is a thought except, as Abdul points out, you’re talking about redoing several action scenes that have been shot, edited, color graded, and incorporated into every cut of Aquaman 2. Already having endured costly reported reshoots, more money would be poured into further do-overs.
That’d be irrational at this point for a studio tightening its belt after it’s struggled financially in the past few years. Mera remaining is the only move that makes sense when they can hold onto her action beats when she shows up in the beginning and at the end while staying out of the thick of things.
Additionally, according to Abdul’s source, Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson pick up some of the dramatic slack and butt-kicking duties as Orm and Atlanna due to paring down Mera’s place in the plot wherever feasible. Heard alluded to this during the defamation trial, which former DC Films exec Walter Hamada contradicted. Nevertheless, she’s still there.
Upset fans who don’t want to see Amber Heard anymore might not be pleased but that seems to be what Warner Bros. decided on. Abdul keeps in mind that the cut of Lost Kingdom screened may not be the final one and recasting Mera is always on the table in the future. Of course, by then it isn’t soon enough for everyone.
Our very own editor John Trent chimed in during Abdul’s stream to say he won’t be wasting money on seeing the movie. “Won’t be watching! Sounds like another flick that will lose money,” Trent wrote through Bounding’s YouTube account. Warner has lost hundreds of millions of dollars on films lately from Black Adam to Wonder Woman 1984 to Birds of Prey – and that’s just DC.
COVID lockdowns and the dual release strategy in 2021 put HBO Max on a pedestal but the confluence of misfortune and desperation robbed them of the coin they could have made from traditional theatrical windows in a normal business climate. Still, despite normalcy returning to a degree, average moviegoers and fans aren’t as compelled to take in the latest big releases.
What do you make of this latest report regarding Amber Heard and her role as Mera in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?