The Tomb Raider movie rights could be changing studios

After MGM Studios lost the rights earlier this year, a massive bidding war for Tomb Raider has erupted in Hollywod.

It looks like Hollywood video game movies might be turning into a hot commodity again. They’ve mostly never been received well critically (some have even been downright lambasted), and their commercial performance varied significantly. But with the recent Sonic the Hedgehog movies blowing up at the box office, the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie getting a sequel, and the upcoming Mario movie still highly-anticipated even after a delay, it seems that Hollywood video game adaptations might be headed for a rebound.

Another Hollywood video game movie success story was Paramount’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider back in 2001. While critics didn’t seem to like it, it was a certified commercial hit. But following the sequel Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, which didn’t match the first film’s numbers, the franchise lay dormant for a while.

Eventually, the film rights landed to MGM who produced the 2018 movie Tomb Raider. It, too, received mixed critical reviews and while it made about $275 million at the box office (the same as the 2001 film), that was only barely enough to break even.

The end result seems to be that MGM isn’t interested in the Tomb Raider movie franchise anymore. The Wrap reported that the studio has lost the movie rights to the series, leading to a massive bidding war. A whole bunch of companies in Hollywood are competing to get their hands on the rights at the moment. Who will claim them in the end is anyone’s guess for now.

Tomb Raider Movie 2

The Tomb Raider movie bidding wars explained

Paramount’s Tomb Raider film series ended after two films, with the rights eventually being bought by production company GK Films. After shopping around for a producer, MGM Studios picked up the project which resulted in the 2018 Tomb Raider movie. Starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, it could have signified a big screen revival for the iconic game series.

Sadly, it seems it wasn’t meant to be. According to The Wrap, MGM had until May of this year to greenlight a sequel to their Tomb Raider reboot. A sequel was in development with Vikander set to reprise her role, but for unknown reasons, it never got far off the ground.

It’s likely the lackluster box office earnings swayed MGM away from the series. Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, announced in 2021 and completed earlier this year, also might have had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, it looks like Lara Croft’s film career is up in the air. Though given the reported high number of studios bidding for the property, odds are that we’ll see another Tomb Raider film before long.

What do you think of this Tomb Raider movie bidding war? Which studio do you think should get the rights to the franchise? Let us know!

Via The Wrap.

Daniel Hein

Daniel Hein is either A) a lifelong video game fanatic, writer, and storyteller just sharing his thoughts on things, or B) some kind of werewolf creature. We're not quite sure which yet. He also makes mediocre video game retrospectives (and other content!) on YouTube where you can watch him babble on for hours about nothing.
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