After a relatively disappointing 2022, it seems that Tomb Raider fans may finally have reason to celebrate. Just days after the PowerWash Simulator Croft Manor DLC was announced, The Hollywood Reporter claimed to have some exclusive information about the franchise’s future, which includes a new Amazon TV series to be written by Emmy-winning actor and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Is the Tomb Raider franchise about to rise like a phoenix from the ashes after a few years of cancelled and indefinitely delayed projects?
A Tomb Raider Live-Action TV Series?
According to The Hollywood Reporter and its closely-guarded sources, Amazon will not only be publishing the next Tomb Raider game but will also be producing a new live-action Tomb Raider series for its platform. Phoebe Waller-Bridge recently renewed her deal with the retail giant and is rumoured to be writing the scripts for the aforementioned series.
Waller-Bridge has won widespread acclaim for her work on Fleabag and Killing Eve and she’s no stranger to the archaeo-adventure genre; she will be starring alongside Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny this summer. There’s no word as to who might be playing Lara in this rumoured series but THR reports that Waller-Bridge will only be writing and producing the series, not starring in it.
And a New Tomb Raider Film Too?
Fans had barely had the chance to process the news about a rumoured live-action TV series when The Hollywood Reporter dropped the next bombshell announcement: Amazon is also planning to produce a brand new Tomb Raider feature film.
In fact, according to THR sources and hinted at in Amazon’s own press release, Amazon will be partnering with Crystal Dynamics to create an interconnected universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, using games, films, TV series, and possibly other media to “bring the next chapter of Lara Croft’s saga” to life. But more on this later.
As a long-time fan of the franchise, I feel like I’ve lived through several cycles of announcements and cancellations. After all, the planned sequel to the 2018 Tomb Raider film failed to get off the ground thanks to ongoing production issues, the Covid pandemic, and lost film rights. The 2018 film itself had suffered numerous delays and setbacks before making it to the big screen. So I’m trying to temper my expectations and not get too excited for a film that might not even see the light of day. I’ll remain sceptical, but cautiously optimistic, until there’s a trailer and release date.
So, will Amazon’s new film make it to screen or will it languish in production hell like Alicia Vikander’s axed sequel? Only time will tell. For now, we can ponder what could have been by checking out these storyboards from the cancelled Tomb Raider sequel.
A Bright Future for Lara Croft?
While the MCU can easily overwhelm a casual audience, this proposed Lara Croft universe will likely be smaller in scope and will revolve around its titular character rather than an ever-increasing roster of heroes. Besides, this isn’t the first time that Tomb Raider has attempted transmedia storytelling in recent years. The 2013 game had a prequel comic written by the game’s lead writer, Rhianna Pratchett, which explored the backstories of the game’s secondary cast. The novel Ten Thousand Immortals showed Lara struggling to deal with the trauma she experienced on Yamatai while several Dark Horse comic runs explored Lara’s post-Yamatai adventures and relationships.
Questionable continuity and quality aside, these stories were deemed canon and were meant to bridge the narrative gaps between Lara’s video game outings. Whether this was a successful initiative or not is a matter of personal opinion. Frankly, I hope that any future tie-in media adds meaningful context and isn’t just made for the sake of pumping out new content. Quality over quantity is the way to go. And for the love of Lara, please don’t introduce any new characters in a game only to side-line them and then make you read some comics to find out what happened to them.
Despite some misgivings, I’m actually intrigued to see what Amazon and Crystal Dynamics have in store for us. It’s been a while since Lara Croft was in the public eye and culturally relevant outside of niche fandom circles. Hopefully this new Amazon deal will bring in a new generation of fans and remind people why Ms Croft was – and still is – considered a cultural icon.
Please note that at the time of writing, neither the live-action TV series nor film had been confirmed by developer Crystal Dynamics, so fans are advised to keep their expectations in check until these rumoured projects have been announced on the official Tomb Raider social media channels.
Lots of exciting Tomb Raider news yesterday. And yes — we’re still working away on the anime. Animation takes a long time, y’all, but the wait will be worth it! pic.twitter.com/2C00xLzsCm— Tasha Huo, Dragonrider (@Tasha3point0) January 28, 2023
And if you’re worried about what all of this means for the previously announced Netflix anime series, fear not. Showrunner and writer Tasha Huo has reassured fans that the series is still very much in production.
What are your thoughts on all of these rumoured projects? Do you think an MCU-style universe is the right direction for the Tomb Raider franchise and is Amazon the right company for the job?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Everything You Need to Know About Netflix’s Tomb Raider Anime Series
- Amazon Games to Publish Next Tomb Raider Game
- Jake Lunt Davies Shares Storyboards for Cancelled Tomb Raider Sequel
4 Comments on “Is Amazon Planning Its Own Tomb Raider Universe?”
It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s opinion on a beloved franchise. Thank you for the update.
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