Amazon Studios is also making a Tomb Raider movie to connect the new series and a new video game.
Tomb Raider has always seemed like it should be a bigger deal. The original video games were insanely popular and the newer games are hits, but attempts to spin this franchise off into movies have resulted in films that simply disappointed critics and audiences alike. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Amazon just acquired the rights to make a Tomb Raider movie and they hope to create an MCU-like connected world between the film, the upcoming Phoebe Waller-Bridge TV show, and at least one upcoming video game.
We previously learned that there would be another Tomb Raider game when the announcement was made in December 2022. Now, things are moving pretty fast, with the announcement that Fleabag icon Phoebe Waller-Bridge was developing a Tomb Raider television show dropping just yesterday. Now, this latest report throws a movie into the mix as well as an ambitious plan to somehow align all of these different media.
Since all of these deals have been announced or reported so close to one another, the most logical thing would be to build these upcoming bits of Tomb Raider media with synergy in mind from the beginning. For example, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be writing the TV show, she has no intention of starring in it as Lara Croft or any other character. It would theoretically be easy to craft a contract for the right person so they can star in the game, show, and film.
What’s not quite as clear yet is how these different bits of Tomb Raider media will interact with each other. For example, if the game comes out first, it could set the stage for things we will see in the show and film. And thanks to the bizarre team-up of Fortnite and Disney, there is precedent for having video game events set up major films (in that case, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opening crawl actually references a special Fortnite event).
It’s worth noting that Amazon is throwing a lot of money at this attempt to make a connected Tomb Raider universe happen. The original report claims that the amount of cash Amazon has spent on this project is second only to how much they spent to bring the Lord of the Rings show, Rings of Power, to life. That deal was $250 million (which also includes planned spinoffs), which may give you an indication of just how seriously Amazon wants to make Tomb Raider happen.
What’s less clear is whether audiences will be excited about an MCU-like franchise that revolves around only one character who will presumably be played by the same person. Part of the charm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that there are many different kinds of characters and actors, so there is at least something for everybody. Amazon seems to be putting all of its eggs in a basket labeled “Lara Croft,” and it will be interesting to see whether this revolutionizes the way we bring video games to life or, like those polygonal pointy breasts, just becomes an embarrassing chapter in Tomb Raider history.