Amber Heard feeling the pressure ahead of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom release
Amber Heard has spoken of the pressure that comes with featuring in big-budget blockbuster movies such as her upcoming superhero flick, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel to 2018's Aquaman.
The first Aquaman movie, starring Jason Momoa in the title role, was a major success for DC Comics as it earned well over $1 billion at the global box office. The sequel will deal with Arthur Curry / Aquaman protecting Atlantis from an ancient evil that arises.
Heard will reprise her role as Mera in the second movie, and the actress has compared working on smaller projects like In the Fire with franchise movies and the pressure that comes with the latter always having to make an impact at the box office.
"These are very different kinds of projects representing two very different ends of the spectrum in my industry," Heard told Deadline.
"There's a ton of pressure on these big franchise movies, with millions and millions of dollars at stake, and compromises are part of trying to make it the most successful thing it can be. Then on the other end of the spectrum is a small indie film like In The Fire, a work of art and work of love, with nowhere near the same resources, and so there are compromises there. The best luck you can have as an actor is to be able to balance both.
"Aquaman, that franchise and the machinery behind it, I'm very honoured, honoured to be a part of that. And then there are these small passion projects like In The Fire, where I'm proud to have gotten to know the filmmaker and the cast, and we got dirty together, to breathe life into this story. There's something cool about that, and I think success is an actor who is able to have both those things."
Heard's very public split with Johnny Depp and the court case that followed led to speculation that she might not be brought back for the second movie, but the filmmakers allegedly never had any concrete plans to axe her from the sequel.
Has DC upheaval harmed Aquaman?
In 2022, DC Comics and Warner Bros. went through major changes at an executive level as James Gunn and Peter Safran were brought in, with the former dealing with the creative side of the business following his success with the Guardians of the Galaxy Franchise as well as The Suicide Squad.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan insists that these changes haven't impacted his movie as much as other productions within the DC Extended Universe, however
"I've had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what's going on," the director told the Hollywood Reporter.
"Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We're going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what's happening with the other movies and characters, so we're stand-alone in that respect.
"So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what's been happening."
Despite what Wan says, Aquaman's release date has been shifted back on a couple of occasions.
Action / Fantasy
2018 • 143 minutes
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Action / Adventure
2023 • 115 minutes