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New 'Aquaman' trailer shows Jason Momoa's hero as a dad, glimpse at Amber Heard's return

Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard and more are set to reprise their roles in the sequel to the 2018 film.
/ Source: TODAY

Nearly five years after the release of "Aquaman," Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard and more are reprising their roles for the blockbuster film's sequel, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom."

The trailer for the sequel, released on Sept. 14, shows Momoa as Arthur Curry, now a father and king of Atlantis, before he's tapped to help fight Black Manta, portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

To help defeat Black Manta, Aquaman takes the unlikely step of enlisting the help of his half-brother and former king of Atlantis, Orm, played by Patrick Wilson.

"Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" marks Heard's first major return to the screen following last year's defamation trial between the actor and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

During the trial, Heard alleged she was cast in a "very pared down version" of her role for the second "Aquaman" film due to the fallout from her divorce from Depp. In the first film, she played Mera, Aquaman's love interest.

"I fought really hard to stay in the movie," Heard said of the sequel. "They didn't want to include me in the film."

Warner Bros. declined to comment in June 2022 on reports that Heard's role was being cut or recast for the film.

The film's director, James Wan, told Entertainment Weekly in an article published Sept. 13 the "Aquaman" sequel was always intended to focus on Arthur and Orm's relationship.

"I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go," Wan said. "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."

In the defamation trial last year, jurors found Heard could not substantiate her allegations against Depp in a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post, and that she knew her allegations of abuse in the essay were false when it was published.

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, while Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages, based on statements Depp's lawyer made about her.

Heard appealed the verdict, leading to a settlement between the two finalized in December 2022.

"Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" is set to premiere in theaters on Dec. 20.