‘Tomb Raider’ Sequel Dead, Franchise Rights Up For Grabs
An exclusive report from TheWrap claims that MGM’s to make Tomb Raider movies have lapsed. Lara Croft's first film appearance happened back in 2001 with the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, and it did pretty well. This happened right at the height of hype around the original video game franchise. Then, there was a sequel, which didn't make nearly as much money as expected. Then, the film franchise languished for years until 2011.
In April of 2016, MGM and GK Films purchased the rights to the franchise and quickly got to work on a reboot. Roar Uthaug, a Norwegian filmmaker, directed the reboot while Alicia Vikander portrayed Lara Croft. The film failed to break even and received middling reviews. According to a lot of critics, the story just wasn't engaging, despite decent performances from the cast.
A sequel to the film was in the works for a while, with Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley attached as writer and director respectively. Unfortunately, since the first in the reboot series failed to break even and didn't do very well critically, the timing was the straw that broke the camel's back. Covid-19 hit, and Tomb Raider just wasn't a priority for MGM anymore. Misha Green signed on in 2021 to replace Ben Wheatley, but the project never went into production. With that, the rights to the franchise defaulted back to Crystal Dynamics, the developer of the game itself.
Just recently, a company called Embracer acquired Crystal Dynamics from Square Enix. As a result, Embracer now controls who gets the rights to make new Tomb Raider movies. It seems like they have some huge plans for the series, so honestly, this might be a good thing. Instead of just making a video game or two and sending the rights over to a production company for a half-baked adaptation... they’re interested in spinoffs, remakes, remasters, and anything else they think can help them create a shared universe.