There have been many video game movies to grace the silver screen in the last decade, but one of the more underrated films in the sub-genre was the 2018 reboot of Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander as famous explorer Lara Croft. A sequel for that film has been in development for a while, but those plans have now hit a major brick wall. As reported exclusively by The Wrap, MGM has lost the film rights for Tomb Raider, starting a major bidding war for the popular video game property. There are a handful of studios in the mix, and it has also been learned that the next film will now be a complete reboot. This sadly means that Vikander is no longer attached to the project.
As stated previously, this news is kind of out of left field as a sequel for the 2018 film has been in development since 2019. While it felt like the film was in purgatory for the last year, the sequel had an exciting director in Lovecraft Country’s Misha Green who had at least a first draft of the film done as early as May 2021. On top of that, Vikander seemed very adamant about returning and stated many times that she was hopeful the sequel would get made. However, that now is not the case because Tomb Raider 2, which was tentatively subtitled “Obsidian”, was never officially greenlit. MGM had until May of this year to get the film greenlit, but again, that never happened. There is no news on who will play the new Lara Croft or who will direct the next film as of now.
While Lara Croft will always be a video game star first and Angelina Jolie made the character a cinematic icon in the first iteration of this film series, the 2018 reboot was a surprisingly great action-adventure film that adapted the 2013 game reboot very well. Primarily thanks to a strong and committed performance from Vikander. The film was also a modest financial hit, making over $274 million at the worldwide box office on a reported $94 million budget. When added to the two Jolie films, the franchise has made over $700 million at the box office.
There’s definitely still a market for Lara Croft on the big screen. Another mega video game series, Uncharted, made its cinematic debut earlier this year and made over $400 million at the box office. You would think that kind of success would only add to the now-dead Tomb Raider 2’s own potential box office success. Tomb Raider is one of the rare iconic names in gaming that has broken through its medium and into the wider pop culture landscape. This is a franchise that spans over two dozen games and is a property that just celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year. That’s why it’s a bit odd that, in all the time they had, MGM couldn’t find a story that they were comfortable with greenlighting.
While little is known about the future of the Tomb Raider film franchise at this time, the property will soon be under new management as the bidding war heats up. However, hopefully this means fans will get a new adventure sooner rather than later. This is the second major change for the franchise in the last number of months as Embracer Group bought the studio behind the recent Tomb Raider reboot game series back in May. While we wait for more news on the franchise’s future, you can watch Jolie’s two Tomb Raider films on HBO Max now.