Actress Amber Heard as Queen Meera of Atlantis as seen from the outside of a submarine, trying to smash the window.
Actress Amber Heard as Queen Meera, apparently trying to break free from the PR bathysphere in which she's been imprisoned in an attempt to save this film at the box office, in still from trailer for 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom;' image courtesy Warner Bros.

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ Trailer Reveal

September 14, 2023

Not a whole lot held 2018’s Aquaman together, let’s be honest. Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry, with his working class magnetism, wise-cracking demeanor, and ass-kicking…ass-kicking kept about half the audience entertained, and his…ahem…Valhalla-worthy physique gave the other half of the audience a reason to forgive the thin, prodigal-son-reluctantly-returns-to-assume-his-rightful-place-and-save-the-world-from-total-annihilation plot line.

And then there was Amber Heard. Chiseled from the finest alabaster, her Queen Mera is powerful, sensuous, fierce, dangerous, and moody (you know, like the sea itself). Heard’s huge, expressive eyes at times could rival those of any anime beauty, while her passion and loyalty set a high bar for wifey-material for any man, King of Atlantis or otherwise. Did her shimmering green aquatic acrobatics help carry the increasingly murky story of the movie? Sure did!

Actress Amber Heard and Actor Jason Momoa in a scene from the 2018 film, "Aquaman."
Actress Amber Heard and Actor Jason Momoa in a scene from the 2018 film, “Aquaman,” image courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture.

If you’d asked me, walking out of the theatre in 2018, what the chances were for the sequel, “The Lost Kingdom,” to at least match the bar in predictable action sequences and eye candy for all, I’d say the odds were better than even that 2023 film could deliver. Although, tbh, the climax of Aquaman was a confusing, complicated visual mess that I just kind of wrote off on the grounds that humans can’t actually see that well underwater anyway.

Problem? IRL she was already married. To Johnny Depp (who ALSO ruled the seas on screen — sound fishy to you?) as of 2015. The relationship very quickly and very publicly turns to shit, and then, after a messy divorce in 2016, rumors of mutual abuse begin to surface. On December 2018, Amber Heard publishes an op-ed in The Washington Post that describes emotional, verbal, and physical abuse without naming Depp as her tormentor. Big lawsuit. High profile trial. And then HUGE surprise when the courts mainly decide that Heard is the villain, and planet Earth mostly seems to recognize Heard as a Grade A biyatch who deserves our undying scorn for dragging Hollywood’s favorite charming stumble-bum through the muck.

So where does that leave the second briny installment of the franchise? Director James Wan told Entertainment Weekly:

“I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go,” Wan tells EW. “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.”

The two minute, thirty-eight second trailer released by Warner Bros. today doesn’t give us a clear idea of what Heard’s contribution to the film will be, but based on the 1/10 of a second of screen time she enjoyed, she may be spending most of the film trying to break out of the public relations bathysphere in which she and her toxic reputation have been sealed up.

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Jason Velázquez

Jason Velázquez has worked in print and digital journalism and publishing for two decades.
Phone: (413) 776-5125

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