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‘Tomb Raider’ bidding war erupts as MGM loses movie rights

Where will Lara Croft go next?

Image: MGM

One of the most beloved gaming franchises is about to head back to auction for its film rights, as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has lost the movie rights to Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft has remained a gaming icon since she first appeared as a series of polygons on the Sega Saturn in 1996, leading to a grand total of 19 adventures across several generations of gaming consoles. The attempts to adapt her stories into celluloid form has been a difficult one however, with three attempts in total.

Angelina Jolie starred in the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its sequel The Cradle of Life under Paramount, before Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer attained the rights and produced Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider in 2018. Now, four years later, MGM has officially lost the rights to the franchise, and a bidding war is on for the “it girl” of gaming has begun.

MGM had a deadline of May 2022 to greenlight a sequel to Vikander’s Tomb Raider, but failed to do so, reverting the rights back to publisher Square Enix, according to a report from The Wrap. The troubled history of film adaptations of video game franchises has weakened confidence in Hollywood to greenlight them.

Halo managed to be a moderate success as an episodic Paramount Plus original, and post-apocalyptic series Fallout is destined for an Amazon Prime streaming debut. Tomb Raider was inspired by Indiana Jones, which makes it hard to believe it has struggled for so long to get any film success.

The gaming origins of the franchise are still going strong, with the most recent trilogy of Tomb Raider games finishing in 2018 with the critically lauded Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Jamie Dunkin
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Jamie Dunkin

Writer for We Got This Covered, and other sites in the GAMURS Group. Football fan, LEGO enthusiast, and beer enjoyer. @jamie_dunkin on Twitter