Tomb Raider movie rights up for sale, ending Alicia Vikander run as the character

In a previous article, we discussed the Tomb Raider movie and how its prospects seem dimmer thanks to some remarks made by star Alicia Vikander. Well you can consider today’s news the final nail in the coffin as word is that MGM Studios has lost the film rights to the character.

A new report from The Wrap revealed that following the Amazon buyout of the studio, MGM was unable to progress with a sequel. The studio reportedly had until May of this year to commence filming, but that deadline has come and gone and the rights have now reverted back to Crystal Dynamics, making them available once more for anyone to bid on them.

A bevy of studios are now putting in those bids, according to insiders with knowledge of the project, says The Wrap. They also added that any future productions will start with a complete reboot, meaning any claims made about casting and director commitments are premature at this point. Graham King’s GK Films are repping the IP for Crystal Dynamics.

Tomb Raider Alicia Vikander
Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in two Tomb Raider movies prior to Vikander’s turn at the character.

This means that a return from Alicia Vikander as the Tomb Raider is not happening. Previously, she was set to portray Lara in a sequel to be written and directed by Misha Green (Lovecraft Country). According to Vikander, “politics” relating to the Amazon buyout stood in the way, and it seems that’s kept them from making the deadline.

It’s highly probable that the low return on investment made by the 2018 film made MGM hesitant to approve a sequel immediately. The film had the lowest domestic box office performance of all three films so far, though it did perform reasonably well on the international market.

That being said, the wide recognizability of the IP keeps it attractive to studios that hope to crack the mega-blockbuster home run that other studios have not. It’s worth noting that the rights don’t cover other adaptations though. Netflix has a separate deal that allows them to develop a Tomb Raider animated series.

In other Tomb Raider related news, the next installment in the game series is currently in development and is being built on the latest generation of Unreal tech.