Reluctant to make a sequel to the last Tomb Raider movie, MGM ultimately scrapped the franchise. The battle to recover the rights has just begun.
Even in 2022, after having suffered many plasters, it seems that it is still a difficult task than decently adapting video game licenses for cinema or television. After the further disappointment of the recent Resident Evil series and the tasteless Sonic 2 and Uncharted, theatrical releases this year, nothing very encouraging on the horizon. The studios continue to rely on the fact that a superficial simulacrum of video game franchises will be enough to attract crowds (sometimes rightly) and, by not reinventing anything, dry up a nevertheless beautiful source of creative ideas.
The formula also didn't work for the Tomb Raiderof 2018 with Alicia Vikander. A very mixed public success for this new adaptation of the legendary saga clearly did not inspire MGM to continue its efforts on a sequel. Doubt still lingered, however, as screenwriter Misha Green had begun writing a draft for a potential Tomb Raider 2. Finally, it seems that the failed adaptation of Lara Croft hardly repeats itself. At least not under the aegis of MGM since the company has just lost the rights.
As reported by The Wrap, MGM's exclusive rights to the Tomb Raider< license /strong>ended in May. The studio did not wish to keep them and therefore abandoned any desire to produce a sequel, if there is a sequel. They did not comment further on their choice. In any case, this decision resulted in an important reversal of the situation for the future of Lara Croft.
The rights are therefore returned to Embracer Group, a European video game distribution company. Unusually, the company acquired the Tomb Raider license from Square Enix in May 2022, at the same time MGM relinquished its rights. Embracer Group therefore found itself immediately with gold in its hands, without being linked to a project that did not suit them.
The video game company s was then agreed with the film production company GK Film to relaunch the franchise for the big screen. Graham King (head of GK Film) has said he is ready to receive offers from studios to acquire the adaptation rights and, according to sources from The Wrap, a fierce auction is underway.
The future of Tomb Raider will therefore depend on who buys it, but also on the intentions of Embracer Group. Son Lars Wingefors, notably declared “that he saw great potential, not only in the sequels, but also in the remakes, reboots, spin-offs and transmedia projects […] for Tomb Raider”.
Despite her desire to take it back, Alicia Vikander is no longer committed to the role of adventurer. With Misha Green out of the loop, it's a fresh start and another chance for Hollywood to do much better with Tomb Raider (or crash even more).