James Bond studio MGM has lost the film rights to the Tomb Raider franchise, leaving Lara Croft in search of a new home on the big screen.
As first reported by The Wrap (opens in new tab), MGM had until May 2022 to sign a sequel to its 2018 film Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander, but failed to meet the deadline in time. Several rival studios are now on the hunt to take over the IP, with one insider describing the situation to THR (opens in new tab) like a “food frenzy”.
MGM, which was recently acquired by Amazon, bought the film rights to the popular video game franchise from GK Films in 2013, which had struck a deal with Tomb Raider publisher Square Enix two years earlier. The rights in question have now reverted to GK Films, where they are reportedly the subject of an intense bidding war.
While a sequel to 2018’s Tomb Raider was in early development – Lovecraft Country showrunner Misha Green has been hired to write and direct – Vikander’s role as the iconic action heroine is expected to be recast in any film project. future.
Before becoming a stablemate of James Bond at MGM, the Tomb Raider brand had enjoyed some relative success on the big screen in top gun parent studio Paramount, which released two films led by Angelina Jolie – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life – in 2001 and 2003, respectively. The films grossed $432 million worldwide.
Incidentally, both Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Tomb Raider (2018) grossed the same total of $274.7 million at the global box office — although, adjusted for inflation, the former fared better technically.
Analysis: A Big Loss for MGM and Amazon
As above, Tomb Raider was never a Hollywood money guarantor – at least in the same way as James Bond and Mission Impossible franchises have for their respective owners. But in today’s ridiculously competitive entertainment industry, ownership of major intellectual property (IP) has become more important than ever to attract and retain an increasingly prudent audience.
Tomb Raider is and will continue to be a prominent name in popular culture, and as a result of MGM moving slower than Winston at Croft Manor – both in terms of launch and release. and Green light movies under the franchise’s banner – the Amazon-owned studio lost a major penalty on its boundary.
What’s more, MGM’s delay will soon become a rival studio’s gain. Of course, companies like Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. will certainly be involved in the aforementioned “food frenzy”, while streaming services like Netflix – always the vulture of the doomed project – may also want to bring Lara Croft to new audiences.
Wherever the famous English adventurer ends up, fans of the franchise can rest assured that, in all likelihood, we will see far more Tomb Raider in the next five years than in the previous 10.