Amber Heard's Mera was a huge part of 2018's Aquaman, but we've known for some time now that the character will be sidelined in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
A very public court battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp is believed to be at the centre of that, though director James Wan has repeatedly insisted he always planned to shift the spotlight to Arthur Curry's relationship with his half-brother Orm. As for Heard, she's made a series of damning claims about Wan and Jason Momoa, going so far as to allege that the latter showed up to set drunk and dressed like Depp in a bid to antagonise her.
When it comes to Wan, Heard claims he failed to support her, treating the actress "like a pariah" due to her ongoing clashes with the Pirates of the Caribbean star. The situation is a mess and many fans believe Mera will be killed off in short order when Black Manta comes gunning for the King of Atlantis.
In all the TV spots, trailers, and featurettes we've had for the sequel thus far, the same shot of Mera underwater has been used repeatedly. Now, we get to see more of the Atlantean...from behind. It appears Warner Bros. is doing everything it can to ensure people forget Heard is part of the movie.
Elsewhere in this sneak peek, there are some great shots of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's villain, Arthur's team-up with Orm, and some visually spectacular action sequences which suggest this movie could be a lot more fun than we anticipated.
Watch the preview in the Tweet/X below.
Director James Wan and Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa - along with Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman - return in the sequel to the highest-grossing DC film of all time: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.
All returning to the roles they originated, Jason Momoa plays Arthur Curry/Aquaman, now balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father; Patrick Wilson is Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, who must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally; Amber Heard is Mera, Atlantis’ Queen and mother of the heir to the throne; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Black Manta, committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis; and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, a fierce leader and mother with the heart of a warrior. Also reprising their roles are Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus and Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin.
The screenplay is by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, from a story by James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Jason Momoa & Thomas Pa'a Sibbett.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be released on December 22.