‘Tomb Raider’ Cinematic Universe Developing At Amazon With New Film, Plus TV Series From Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Last summer, plans for a Tomb Raider sequel that would feature the return of Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft was blown up when MGM lost the rights. While there was a brief attempt to salvage the project, that’s all over now. Amazon has landed the rights to adapt the bestselling video game franchise, and they are going to maximize its value with both a streaming series and a movie.

THR was the first to report that Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is on board to write and exec-produce a series set in the Tomb Raider universe. Waller-Bridge will not be starring in the show, so don’t expect her to join the ranks of Vikander and Angelina Jolie in playing the popular British adventurer and treasure-seeker. Hayley Atwell had been cast to voice Croft in an animated series for Netflix but it’s uncertain where that and its two-season order stands.

Waller-Bridge has an overall deal with Amazon and this won’t be the only project she works on for them. She has another series in the works that was supposed to get rolling last year, so its status is unclear.

This new series by Waller-Bridge will become part of a Marvel-esque cinematic universe that Amazon is building. Teaming up with Dmitri M. Johnson’s dj2 Entertainment, Amazon will also develop a Tomb Raider feature film that will connect to the show, video games, and probably more.

Waller-Bridge does not have anything to do with the movie or the games, at least not at this point. Amazon is said to have made one of their most expensive acquisition deals for Tomb Raider, which means they’re likely to put as much into it as they have Lord of the Rings. If that’s true, expect them to dial up Waller-Bridge to do more than just the series.

All of this makes sense, as video game adaptations are scorching hot right now. HBO is killing it with The Last of Us, and Amazon sees a chance to do the same with Tomb Raider. But it’s really all going to come down to who they cast as Lara Croft. Screw up there, and the whole thing is dead before its started.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.