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MGM loses Tomb Raider film rights, bidding war begins

Rights holder GK Films considering offers from several Hollywood studios, Alicia Vikander no longer starring as Lara Croft

The movie rights for Tomb Raider are currently up for grabs, after MGM failed to greenlight a sequel.

TheWrap reports that the Hollywood giant had until May 2022 to approve a new Tomb Raider film, but its failure to do so means it has lost the rights to the IP.

Multiple anonymous sources have told the site there are several movie studios now bidding for the property.

The film rights reverted to GK Films, which acquired them in 2011 from Square Enix and produced the 2018 film based on the 2013 reboot of the game franchise.

GK Films is now considering the offers from other studios.

The 2018 Tomb Raider film earned just shy of $275 million at the global box office, and starred Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft.

However, Vikander is reportedly no longer attached to the series, with TheWrap’s sources claiming the next film will be a complete reboot.

The news follows Embracer’s acquisition of the Tomb Raider IP earlier this year when it purchased Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal for $300 million.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors said film is an increasingly important area for the organisation.

"My belief is that gaming is a superior way of capitalising or monetising an IP in entertainment, but gaming is not necessarily always the best way to market an IP, and I think TV and film is a fantastic way of building an IP," he told us.

"Combining them is highly interesting for us. With that said, we don't have to own any film studios or film production companies, so now we're trying to learn.”

Last year, Netflix and production company Legendary announced they are working together on a Tomb Raider animated series.

Meanwhile, Crystal Dynamics has already begun work on a new Tomb Raider game built in Unreal Engine 5.

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James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006