Hollywood has its fair share of franchise that produce sequels on a regular basis. The James Bond series. Most comic book superhero adaptations. The Fast & Furious films (for now). But there are also a couple of films that have a passionate fanbase looking for a sequel, even though the movement on said follow-ups isn’t as rapid as some might hope. I’m looking at you, Alita: Battle Angel and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
To that pile, I’d also add Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider, an origin story and a reimagining of the classic video game that cast the actress as treasure seeker Lara Croft. Released in 2018, the adventure-thriller followed Croft on one of her first journeys, tracking her father (Dominic West) through the Devil’s Sea. Vikander spoke with Good Morning America to promote her latest film, The Glorias, and mentioned the status of the Tomb Raider sequel, saying:
That’s incredibly encouraging, as Alicia Vikander makes it sound as if she was all but prepared to head back into production on Tomb Raider 2 when the industry had to press pause because of the pandemic. Slowly but surely, though, filming on several major films has resumed – Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman, and Spider-Man 3 being a handful that come to mind – so it’s possible that the Tomb Raider sequel can get back into a rhythm and carve out a schedule that might get it into theaters in 2022 (or beyond).
You might look at the box office for Tomb Raider 2 and wonder why Warner Bros. would move forward on it. It’s true that the movie didn’t catch fire at the domestic box office, earning $58.2 million. But as the studio likely expected, Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider did much better overseas, banking $216 million to push the overall cume to $274 million. Not a slam dunk, but also worthy of a follow-up film, especially for a familiar IP that has a built in audience from the video game.
It’s also wise for Warner Bros. to be divested when it comes to franchises. They can continue to lean heavily into the DC universe, as that tends to pay off dividends at the box office, and in merchandise sales. But investing in other film franchises that can carry different audiences also has strong appeal. You will see WB exploring storytelling in films such as the Fantastic Beasts series, the LEGO series, and animated fare like Scoob! But diving into Tomb Raider makes sense, and Alicia Vikander has us fired up for where this saga can go.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.