With all the excitement drummed up by the “Godzilla vs. Kong” official trailer earlier this week, Legendary is doubling down on the existing IP and expanding the Kong universe to Netflix via a new anime series. Legendary’s TV arm has struck a deal with the streaming giant to develop two new anime series: “Skull Island” and “Tomb Raider” (via Deadline). The new animated “Skull Island” will join Legendary’s growing Monsterverse franchise, picking up where Jordan Vogt-Robert’s “Kong: Skull Island” left off in 2017.
The animated “Skull Island” series will track a motley crew of characters shipwrecked on the mysterious island as they encounter a slew of dangerous prehistoric creatures, including King Kong. Brian Duffield (“Underwater,” “The Babysitter”) will write and executive produce the anime series alongside Jacob Robinson, who will executive producer under his company Tractor Pants. Powerhouse Animation, the animations studio behind “Castlevania” and “Blood of Zeus,” will oversee “Skull Island.”
Legendary’s Monsterverse has been working hard to catch up the the MCU since the 2014 debut of “Godzilla,” which was followed by 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island” and 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” Legendary also owns the rights to “Dune,” the long-awaited science fiction epic directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothee Chalamet.
The “Tomb Raider” anime series picks up after the video game reboot trilogy, following heroine Lara Croft as she explores new territory 25 years after her first game. The new Netflix/Legendary co-production will mark Lara Croft’s first animated appearance, though her video game fans are certainly accustomed to seeing her in CGI.
Legendary has tapped Tasha Huo (“The Witcher: Blood Origin,” “Red Sonja”) to write the anime series. Huo will also executive produce with dj2 Entertainment Founder and CEO Dmitri M. Johnson (“Sonic the Hedgehog”) as well as Stephan Bugaj and Howard Bliss. Robinson will also serve as EP on this series under his company Tractor Pants.
Lara Croft made her first movie appearance in 2001 when Angelina Jolie took on the role for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” Jolie reprised the character in the 2003 follow-up “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life.” Alicia Vikander took on the role in 2018 for the next round of live-action films, and she will do so again in a sequel written and directed by Misha Green (“Lovecraft Country”).