MGM has lost the rights to the Tomb Raider and now other Hollywood studios are in a bidding war to obtain the license for the franchise. MGM had until May 2022 to greenlight a sequel to its 2018 Tomb Raider film, and doing so would have allowed the company to maintain the film rights for the Tomb Raider franchise.
In not doing so the rights are now up for grabs with the option to make further films for the franchise going to the highest bidder.
A Brief History of Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider is a popular action-adventure game series spanning first introduced in the hay-days of the PlayStation 1 in 1996. The series follows Laura Croft as she explores tombs and recovers ancient treasures, being developed in the UK by Core Design. After multiple spin-off sequels the game came off the rails with 2003 poorly received PS2 debut the Angel of Darkness, but 2013 saw the release of a new Tomb Raider game which revitalized the series and led to two sequels with another title in production.
Fans of Tomb Raider will also remember Angelina Jolie playing Lara Croft 2001 and 2003’s movies. However, far fewer remember Alicia Vikander as Croft in the 2018 take and therein lies the problem…
Unsubstantiated reports state that the 2018 Tomb Raider film netted roughly $274 million – not enough for the production to break even. Considering this, it’s not surprising that MGM is cutting its losses, being reticent to green light a sequel. In addition, wherever the Tomb Raider license ends up, it appears that Vikander is hanging up the iconic Croft tank and short for good.
Essentially, the next time a Tomb Raider film is in the works, it will be yet another series reboot.
Embracer Group acquired the rights to the Tomb Raider game franchise in May, along with rights to Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain. The firm took ownership of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, and Square Enix Montréal and has announced plans to create tons of Tomb Raider content.
“We see a great potential, not only in sequels, but also in remakes, remasters, spinoffs, as well as transmedia projects across the Group. We expect the transaction to close in the July-September period,” said Embracer Group.
Upcoming film adaptations
Beyond Tomb Raider, plenty of video game series are getting the Hollywood treatment. HBO Max is releasing a live-action The Last of Us series next year. Additionally, Netflix is developing a Bioshock film and a Horizon Zero Dawn series