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‘Tomb Raider’ bidding war ensues as MGM lose rights

MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) have lost the film rights to Tomb Raider, the cinematic franchise based on the popular video game, sparking a frantic bidding war.

MGM had until May of this year to finalise plans for a Tomb Raider sequel, and the deadline passed. A host of Hollywood movie studios are now battling it out in a bidding war to take over the rights to helm the new film, per numerous internal sources. 

Alicia Vikander, who starred as Lara Croft in 2018’s Tomb Raider, is no longer associated with the project. Recent reports have revealed that the sequel will be a complete reboot with no casting or director commitments remaining following the release four years ago. Rights for the intellectual property (IP) automatically reverted to the game company, who in turn made a deal with Graham King’s GK Films to auction it off.

The 2018 film took nearly $275million at the global box office on its initial run. The film is based on the popular video game series starring the explorer Lara Croft. The games were initially adapted into a blockbusting pair of films in 2001 and 2003 that starred Angelina Jolie, grossing a total of $432 million worldwide.

The planned sequel originally had Lovecraft Country mastermind Misha Green earmarked to write and direct, but these plans have since been terminated. Meanwhile, Graham King and his company, GK Films, who acquired the rights for Tomb Raider in 2011 from Square Enix, are considering renewed offers. 

Back in May 2022, Embracer acquired Tomb Raider game developer Crystal Dynamics and all corresponding IP from Square Enix in a deal worth $300 million. In the company’s full-year financial report, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said he sees “great potential, not only in sequels but also in remakes, remasters, spinoffs as well as transmedia projects” for Tomb Raider.

Watch the trailer for the 2018 revamp of Tomb Raider below.