Amazon is intent on developing a Tomb Raider universe, with the tech giant now working on a feature film, alongside the Phoebe Waller-Bridge penned TV show, and the video game in development by Crystal Dynamics, which will be published by Amazon Games. The company aims to build a world, where the feature film, television series, and video game will be interconnected "in a fashion akin to what Marvel has already accomplished."
This news is courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, with the publication also announcing Waller-Bridge’s intent to develop the script for a Tomb Raider show a few days ago. The report confirms Amazon’s commitment to bringing the franchise to life stating that the project is one of the company’s largest commitments only behind its Lord of the Rings franchise. For context, the company reportedly doled out $250 million just for the rights to Lord of the Rings.
Amazon collaborated with a transmedia production company dj2 Entertainment, headed by Dmitri M. Johnson, to secure the rights to Tomb Raider, which is no surprise given dj2 Entertainment’s reputation for successfully adapting video games. The media company worked with Paramount Pictures on its Sonic the Hedgehog feature film adaptation. It also worked on Netflix’s Tomb Raider: The Animated Series, which stars Hayley Atwell as Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider is a media franchise that launched in 1996 with an eponymous video game. The title was highly successful and spawned a franchise that included numerous video games and three live-action feature film adaptations.
Unlike the game series, the film adaptations put up disappointing performances. The first two installments featured Angeline Jolie as the protagonist Lara Croft, with the series canceled after their uninspiring performances. The third film was a reboot that starred Alicia Vikander in the role. However, the film also performed poorly at the box office prompting the cancellation of a planned sequel.
Given Amazon’s financial commitment to the franchise, the company will be hoping its take on the universe performs much better than its predecessors. However, Amazon’s experience with adaptations ranging across all media – books, novels, games – will bolster confidence that it can pull it off where others have failed.
At the moment, all of the Tomb Raider projects are still in their early stages. Per a report last year, the game is in early development. Also, Waller-Bridge was only recently hired to pen the script for the television series and it doesn’t appear the company has even hired a writer for the feature film yet. Given these developments, it appears it will be a while before the company launches its Tomb Raider shared universe.
By the way, Tomb Raider is not the only game that dj2 Entertainment is adapting. Last year, the production company entered an agreement with Amazon that will see it develop video game adaptations for the streamer. At the moment, it is developing film and TV adaptations of Disco Elysium and Life is Strange for the tech behemoth.
In the meantime, fans can catch the three live-action adaptations of Tomb Raider on Amazon Prime Video.