Last year, the rebooted “Tomb Raider” opened to middling reviews and so-so box office receipts. In our review, we wrote that while this first outing for new Lara Croft Alicia Vikander didn’t work, a follow-up could be an easy success with the right ingredients. Specifically, we said this:
A sequel to “Tomb Raider” that focuses on Lara could work. Vikander is in place. Just find a filmmaker with a visual style, develop a story worth telling, and boom! Franchise in place.
Well, MGM must have been paying attention, because as they set a 2021 release date for the next installment, they’ve done just that.
Deadline reports that filmmaker Ben Wheatley is set to direct the sequel, with a March 9th date chosen in 2012 to debut the flick. Wheatley will be the latest stylish indie director to take a step into blockbuster territory. On the surface, he’d seem like an odd fit, but considering the open ended nature of the character, it’s an excellent opportunity for him to put his own stamp on a larger scale than ever before.
From the scoop:
Ben Wheatley has been set to direct MGM’s Tomb Raider sequel, with the studio setting a release date of March 19, 2021. Alicia Vikander is reprising her role as the lissome, treasure-hunting action heroine Lara Croft. Amy Jump is writing the sequel script and Graham King is producing through his GK Films banner, and Elizabeth Cantillon.
Wheatley’s writing partner and spouse Amy Jump was recently hired to pen the screenplay, so that clearly laid the groundwork for his involvement. Going from smaller work like “Free Fire” and “High Rise” to “Tomb Raider” is a big leap, but having Vikander on board is an excellent start. For now at least, a “Tomb Raider” sequel seems way more enticing today than it did previously.