The “Tomb Raider” franchise must explore a new studio.
MGM has returned the rights to producer Graham King and his GK Films after owning the IP for nine years. Lead star of the 2018 reboot, Alicia Vikander, is also expected to be recast. The Wrap first reported the news.
Opening bids for the rights have spurred a bidding war since last week, with studios and streamers looking to acquire the adventure IP based on the 1996 videogame series of the same name. Angelina Jolie starred in previously Paramount’s “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” in 2001 and sequel “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” in 2003.
Vikander led MGM and GK Films’ reboot “Tomb Raider,” which earned $275 million worldwide and was slated to have a sequel helmed by “Lovecraft Country” creator Misha Green.
Vikander gave an update that a follow-up is “in somebody else’s hands” after the Amazon buyout of MGM for $8.5 billion in March 2022.
“With the MGM and Amazon buyout, I have no clue. Now it’s kind of politics,” Vikander recently told Entertainment Weekly. “I think Misha and I have been ready, so it’s kind of in somebody else’s hands, to be honest.”
Now, that planned sequel is scrapped, per The Wrap, and Vikander will exit the franchise for yet another reboot in the works.
One source told the outlet that the bidding war has incited a “feeding frenzy” among studios and streamers. The Amazon-MGM deal brought more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows to Amazon Prime Video, including the IPs of James Bond, Pink Panther, and the “Rocky” franchise, in addition to “Tomb Raider.”
Per a press statement, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios Mike Hopkins announced that the “real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of [intellectual property] in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team.”
Highlights from the MGM catalog include “Basic Instinct,” “Legally Blonde,” “Moonstruck,” “Poltergeist,” “Raging Bull,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Tomb Raider,” and “12 Angry Men.” For TV, the studio produced “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Vikings.”
“MGM has a nearly century-long legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a broad slate of original films and television shows to a global audience,” Hopkins continued. “We welcome MGM employees, creators, and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling to our customers.”