Although the name of the movie is Aquaman, expect Mera to also turn up as a superhero in the movie, and not as Aquawoman. Mera actress Amber Heard has made it clear this is one of the things that made her interested in the role.
Aquaman will tell the origin story of Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), a half Atlantean and half human man who reluctantly becomes king of an underwater kingdom. He must face his dual natures, even when surface-dwellers (aka humans) threaten the existence of him and his kind. Meanwhile, Mera is undersea royalty herself, although in the comic books, she eventually marries Arthur and the two rule Atlantis together.
That's not to say the Aquaman movie will just relegate Mera to being the future Mrs. Arthur Curry. In an interview with JoBlo, Heard spoke about what drew her to playing Mera, as well as what fans can expect in her portrayal of the character. She points out that this isn't Aquawoman, but a woman who is strong and independent in her own right.
"Mera is the definition of a strong, driven, independent woman. Aside from the whole sword and crown comment, what really sold me on this project, I was doing my research and was reading the graphic novels, and in one of the first ones I read, there’s a scene, some natural disaster in open water, a tsunami hits on the land, and of course Aquaman comes in and saves the day and civilians are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Aquaman!’ And they turn to Mera, who has done equal work in saving this village, and they’re like, ‘Who are you? Are you Aquawoman?’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m not Aquawoman. I’m Mera, I have my own name.’ And I was like, I like this. I like this woman."
Heard also explained how Mera and Arthur don't exactly see eye to eye when they first meet:
"They’re constantly going back and forth and they earn this relationship with one another throughout the film as they learn to respect each other, given their vastly different approaches to life. Mera, for instance, unlike Arthur, has a very solid constitution, a strong sense of self, who she is, what her role is, what her position is."
Both Aquaman and Mera made their debuts in the DC Extended Universe in Justice League. However, fans only saw a little of Mera, while Aquaman went on to become a full-fledged member of the iconic superhero team. Expect to see a lot more of Mera, though, in the Aquaman solo film, with a character that stays true to her comic book portrayal. Heard believes Mera needed to stay true to who she is in the comics, not just in the way she looks, but also in her personality.
At first, Heard was reluctant to step into the shoes of Mera, worrying the character would appear as another "damsel in distress," especially after spending her acting career staying away from those kinds of roles. It was Justice League director Zack Snyder, though, who convinced her to reconsider. Snyder explained how Mera was actually a "warrior queen." Apparently, that did the trick, because Heard suited up as Mera for both movies.
It's good to know DC is taking its female superheroes as seriously as its male ones - Wonder Woman and Mera are a prime example. Filmmakers could have easily pushed Mera aside into nothing more than a love interest, but it seems that is certainly not the case in the Aquaman movie.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020