There is no doubt that COVID-19 has left the state of many film productions in a rather precarious position. For MGM’s planned sequel to 2018’s Tomb Raider though, it appears that things have drastically changed behind the scenes.
Back in 2019, Amy Jump (Free Fire) was hired to write the sequel which would see Alicia Vikander reprise her role as adventuring video game legend Lara Croft. Jump’s hiring eventually led the studio to recruit her Free Fire director Ben Wheatley to helm this sequel. And despite how unusual Wheatley appeared for a film of this nature given his reputation for directing obscure horror and indie action films, all appeared to be moving ahead with the production of the movie. An early 2021 release date was pencilled in, but it became a victim of the usual COVID-19 rescheduling process that has hit Hollywood hard.
However, it appears that there were more going on behind closed doors, as Deadline has reported that Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green has now been hired to write and direct the film with Jump and Wheatley nowhere to be seen. This will be Green’s feature film debut. In essence, a film that we thought was in production all along is going completely back to the drawing board with a brand-new vision. Green took to Twitter to also confirm the news and reveal how she is a big fan of the Tomb Raider video games, particularly Tomb Raider: Legend and the last two games, Rise of the Tomb Rider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider:
As for the reasons behind Jump and Wheatley’s departures, it’s not clear exactly if this was due to an issue with their original vision or perhaps just a scheduling conflict. Given that Wheatley is also set to direct the Meg 2 soon, it’s likely the latter.
With regards to Green, yes, it has to be pointed out that she doesn’t have experience directing a big-budget movie but that’s never stopped Hollywood before. What she has shown in spades with Lovecraft Country is a remarkable ability to weave a powerful narrative around tense action sequences and grounding it all in heavy mythology – all of which is right in Tomb Raider’s wheelhouse. Perhaps the most important thing for fans is knowing that she herself loves the original games and hopefully that means we will see a movie that brings out the true spirit of Tomb Raider.
Tomb Raider 2 does not currently have a new release date and it may take a while before we see this movie finally kick off production.
Last Updated: January 26, 2021