The long-gestating follow-up to the 2018 Tomb Raider film is stuck in limbo, according to its star, Alicia Vikander. 

As you most likely know, over at Sony, the studio has created a production company named PlayStation Productions designed to adapt its video game library into movies. Whilst a host of PlayStation titles are now in the mix to become movies, one classic gaming property that seems to be trapped in limbo (again) is Lara Croft.

The rights to the iconic English adventurer and the Tomb Raider series are currently held by MGM. Back in 2018 we got a reboot of the series (following Angelina Jolie’s two early 2000s turns as Croft) with Alicia Vikander playing a young and raw version of the character. The film raked in around $250m from a production budget of $100m, enough to earn it a sequel greenlight. But in the years since, very little has happened to move the project forwards.

Ben Wheatley was attached to the project for a while and has spoken about how achingly close to production it was before the pandemic hit and globe-trotting, big budget pictures became an impossibility. Wheatley then departed the project to make a sequel to The Meg, making room for Lovecraft County showrunner Misha Green to come on board to rewrite the film and helm it too.

Then another major quake hit the project: MGM were bought by Amazon and any bug budget productions were put up for review. The planned Tomb Raider sequel seems to be one of the biggest victims of this buyout, with the film frozen in limbo since, according to Vikander, who told Entertainment Weekly this week that “with the MGM and Amazon buyout, I have no clue. Now it’s kind of politics. I think Misha Green and I have been ready, so it’s kind of in somebody else’s hands, to be honest. I’ve been excited to show the world. I love what she’s done with Lovecraft County.”

The future for this one looks increasingly uncertain, we’d suggest. With the IP arms race in full effect, it’s not impossible to imagine that Amazon executives are evaluating the undoubted name value of the Tomb Raider property and assessing whether it would be better used as a high-end series for the Prime Video platform. Time will tell but we’ll certainly let you know if we hear more.

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