Amber Heard, who plays Aquaman’s love interest Mera in the DC Extended Universe, says that she only took the role when Zack Snyder explained that she would be portraying a “warrior queen.”
The actress already had a small role in Justice League, communicating with Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) during the underwater scenes of that film. She will get a bigger role in the new movie, which will see Aquaman challenge his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) for the throne of Atlantis in an attempt to prevent a war against the surface world.
Heard says that she was reluctant to take on a part in a superhero film, aware that the genre often has a specific role in mind for love interests.
“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,” she explained, but added “Zack got me at ‘warrior queen.’ He said, ‘You get a sword and a crown,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay.’”
In the film, Mera is apparently the princess of Xebel, one of seven underwater kingdoms that Orm is trying to unite; her father, King Nereus, is played by Dolph Lundgren. She has the powers of both hydrokinesis and telepathy, making her a powerful warrior, and has also been groomed to become the next Queen of Atlantis. This combination of fighting prowess and political importance is likely to make her an important player in the struggle between the two brothers.
Mera has a long history in the comics, having originally appeared back in 1963, and especially in recent years there has been an emphasis on her own powers making her an equal to Aquaman. The New 52 continuity (which the DCEU is largely based on) basically has the two as a crime-fighting duo, and during DC Rebirth she actually took up his role in the Justice League while he was indisposed by Atlantean politics.
While the DCEU has been struggling through its first five films, there is a general hope that things are finally turning around. Aquaman seems to be on track for its December 21 release date and is getting good buzz, so hopefully it will join Wonder Woman as an unqualified success for the franchise. If so, the King of Atlantis, and his Queen, could have a few more films ahead of them.