James Wan’s Aquaman 2 is nearing the end of pre-production and is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2021. The sequel to the 2018 smash has been in the pipeline for a while and there’s been a lot of speculation as to who will star in the film, much of it centered upon Amber Heard reprising the role of Mera. But now, we’re hearing that she may have to share screen time with another underwater character.
Leaker Grace Randolph is reporting that Wan is currently searching for an Asian actress to play a female lead in the movie. This is likely to be for the role of Dolphin, a prominent comic book heroine and Arthur Curry’s sometimes lover.
First introduced in 1968, Dolphin was once a regular human girl who accidentally fell overboard on a cruise ship. She was assumed to have drowned, but was actually abducted by mysterious beings who used her to test aquatic genetic modifications. By the time they’d finished, she’d lost all memory of being human and escaped the lab in a feral state. Over the course of her story, she gradually reclaimed her humanity with the help of the Atlanteans and other heroes.
Some of you are asking re Amber Heard – as I told you before, they are bringing on this new female lead to balance things out, and writing the script so that Heard’s role can be cut down if needed. But as of right now she’s still in #Aquaman2
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) December 22, 2020
Adding credence to this rumor is that Aquaman was a huge hit in China, pulling down about $300 million of its $1.15 billion take in that territory alone. Warner Bros. will be eager to repeat that success, so they may see incorporating a popular Asian actor into the cast as a way to keep Chinese audiences engaged.
With the shoot beginning shortly, we’ll have confirmation on this sooner rather than later. One other wrinkle to the story, though, is the continued rumors that WB want to have a contingency plan in place if Amber Heard loses some of her ongoing legal battles with Johnny Depp. If a series of judges rule against her, Aquaman 2 may undergo last minute rewrites to make her character less of a focus. And if Dolphin’s waiting in the wings, that process would be a heck of a lot easier.