Digital artists have been responsible for some of the most unique and innovative fan castings on the web, often utilizing digital tools to bring their ideas to life on the screen. Whether artists are coming up with fan casting to staff the upcoming James Gunn-led DCU or using AI to deepfake their favorite actor into a role underserved by the current performer, there are hundreds of incredible displays of creativity in this field. One digital artist with the Instagram handle diiegodesigner has created a fan recasting of his own, subbing in Emilia Clarke in place of Amber Heard in Aquaman.
An artist has replaced Amber Heard with Emilia Clarke as Mera in Aquaman, and we wish this was done for the actual movie.
The artist, who’s real name is Diego Oliveira, used an existing photograph of Emilia Clarke and promo material of Amber Heard as Mera in order to graft a stunning image that places the Game of Thrones actor squarely within the kingdom of Atlantis. Emilia Clarke seems like an excellent fit for the franchise, as she previously worked alongside Aquaman actor Jason Momoa back in first season of Game of Thrones.
In the HBO series, Momoa appeared in a short-lived but memorable role as Khal Drogo, chieftain of a powerful Dothraki khalasar. Drogo was an undefeated warrior who took Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen as his wife before succumbing to death by an infected wound before the first season of the series concluded. After moving on to his newfound flagship role in DC’s Aquaman, Jason Momoa starred alongside Amber Heard, much to the chagrin of Johnny Depp fans across the globe.
Unlike Emilia Clarke, who maintains an overwhelmingly positive public image, Amber Heard has been taken through the wringer due to her long and extensively cataloged legal battle with her former husband Johnny Depp. Through a live-streamed legal battle that brought in thousands of viewers like a pay-per-view prize fight, the collective perception of Heard had soured across a number of online circles, causing many fans of the Aquaman franchise to demand she be removed from the film.
Emilia Clarke wasn’t personally responsible for how Game of Thrones ended, and that’s the biggest controversy of her career, compared to Amber Heard’s multiple legal battles.
Warner Brothers, however, have seen fit to move forward with the upcoming sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, with Amber Heard still attached to play Mera, causing many fans, such as Oliveira to reimagine the role in another light. Of course, if Emilia Clarke took over for Amber Heard as Mera, it would be jarring to any fans who managed to avoid the controversy, especially as the DCU is in the midst of taking on a hard reset courtesy of James Gunn’s newfound leadership.
According to IMDb, Ben Affleck is also scheduled to appear in Aquaman 2, reprising his role as Batman for what will likely be his last appearance in the former DCEU. Though the cameo, which was filmed, was then reported to have been dropped when James Gunn took over the DCU.
Emilia Clarke as Mera has already been liked thousands of times on Instagram, with most comments agreeing that they’d prefer the Mother of Dragons take over the role.
Swapping semi-minor roles such as Mera to Emilia Clarke from Amber Heard may seem like a waste of finances to the studio, particularly amid the recent SAG-AFTRA strike, which would have rendered any additional last-second reshoots impossible anyway.
The Instagram post showcasing Emilia Clarke taking over the role of Mera from Amber Heard has amassed thousands of likes and more than 100 comments from fans who would love to see Clarke and Momoa reunited on the big screen. Though the reunion is not set to happen in the upcoming film, we can still hold out hope that the actors will work together again in the future.