Tomb Raider Movie Rights Up For Sale As MGM And Series Star Alicia Vikander Drop Out

The planned Tomb Raider 2 is apparently dead, and now a bidding war has seemingly erupted.

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Big changes are reportedly underway for the Tomb Raider movie series. The Wrap reports that film studio MGM has lost the movie rights to the Tomb Raider series and that the star of the 2018 reboot, Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander, is no longer attached to the upcoming sequel.

The report said MGM needed to greenlight the next Tomb Raider movie by May 2022 to hold onto the movie rights--that did not happen. Now, sources told The Wrap that "a host" of movie studios are bidding for the film rights. The report didn't name any of the studios that might be looking at Tomb Raider.

The Hollywood Reporter added that studios and streamers alike are involved in a bidding war for the Tomb Raider movie rights. Opening bids were supposedly taken last week, and now the process has been likened to a "feeding frenzy," according to the site.

As of yet, there is no word on who could replace Vikander as Lara Croft, should this report be true, nor is there any word on who might direct the next film, if it ever gets made. The report said whatever film studio buys the rights would do a "complete reboot."

Producer Graham King and his GK Films company bought the Tomb Raider movie rights in 2011 from Square Enix, and GK is now fielding offers, the report said. Meanwhile, MGM itself has been sold to Amazon.

Recently, Vikander said Tomb Raider 2 was in limbo due to "politics," and now it may be more clear what she was referring to. Lovecraft Country's Misha Green was announced as the director for Tomb Raider 2, but that seems to have fallen apart now.

Roar Uthaug (The Wave) directed 2018's Tomb Raider, which was an origin story that featured Croft searching for her father, who was played by Dominic West.

The new Tomb Raider reboot came up short in the US, where it made just $58 million, but it pulled in $216.4 million from international markets for a global result of about $275 million. Warner Bros. distribution boss Jeff Goldstein said in 2018 that the movie studio always thought the film would do better internationally, especially in China. "We looked at the property as an international piece driving the business," he said. "And that’s essentially what happened."

Filming on Tomb Raider 2 was supposed to start in 2020, but was delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic. Cameras never started rolling, though, and now there are seemingly bigger changes afoot.

As for the Tomb Raider game series, Square Enix recently sold it and developer Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group in a deal valued at $300 million.

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