Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

It has been a little more than three years since audiences were introduced to Alicia Vikander’s version of the iconic video game adventure seeker Lara Croft in 2018’s Tomb Raider. And while the film lacked the star power of the Angelina Jolie-led adaptations of the early 2000s, Tomb Raider was a moderate success at the box office and with critics, which got a lot of fans asking: When will there be a Tomb Raider 2?

Sometimes simple questions have very complicated and drawn out answers, and that just so happens to be the case with Tomb Raider 2. Below, we will try to offer a simple explanation of the movie's pre-production history and all the players behind the scenes, how a global health crisis hindered that process, and what may come of the movie in the future. Here’s what’s going on with Tomb Raider 2.

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

In February 2018, Prior To The Release of The First Film, Alicia Vikander Said She ‘Would Love To’ Return For Tomb Raider 2

The first Tomb Raider movie was released in March 2018, but even before the world got to see a more grounded portrayal of Lara Croft, Academy Award-winning actress Alicia Vikander made it clear she was willing to return for more action. A few weeks prior to the release of the film, GameSpot encouraged its Twitter followers to submit questions for a digital Q&A with Vikander, with one person asking if she would be willing to return for a sequel. Vikander responded:

Yes, I adored taking on the role of Lara, so yeah, we’ll see. If there is an audience out there for it, I would love to [return].

The following month, Tomb Raider was released and brought in nearly $275 million worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo, and so it seemed like a sequel was a foregone conclusion.

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

In September 2019, A March 2021 Release Date For Tomb Raider 2 Was Announced, Along With A Writer And Director

Tomb Raider 2 became even more like a reality in September 2019 when Deadline announced that MGM Studios had not only hired a writer and director for the sequel but also set a March 19, 2021 release date.

The director, Ben Wheatley, had previously helmed the 2015 dystopian action-thriller High-Rise and the black comedy Free Fire, when he signed on the lead Tomb Raider 2. Amy Jump, who is married to Wheatley, was hired to take on the task of penning the script after previously writing both High-Rise and Free Fire.

Within the span of a couple years, however, the release date, director, and writer would all be out of the picture for one reason or another.

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

In October 2020, Alicia Vikander Revealed That COVID-19 Pandemic Scrapped The Initial Production Schedule

In late 2019, Tomb Raider 2 was beginning to look more and more like a reality with a creative team and release date, but then the COVID-19 pandemic came along and forced the entertainment industry to come to an immediate halt. During an appearance on Good Morning America in October 2020, Alicia Vikander revealed that the Tomb Raider sequel was yet another film to be affected by the global health crisis, explaining that the plan was for production to start earlier in the year but the situation was “now very different” and she was optimistic that principal photography could start up at some point in 2021.

The Tomb Raider cast

Later In October 2020, MGM Removed Tomb Raider 2 From The Release Schedule

The bad news surrounding Tomb Raider 2 kept coming in October 2020 when TheWrap reported that MGM had removed the title from its release schedule entirely. With that announcement, the Tomb Raider sequel became one of the many 2021 movies to be rescheduled or taken off the calendar entirely. And while no official reason was provided at the time, it can be speculated that the decision was made due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on theaters around the world.

Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, and Courtney B. Vance in Lovecraft Country

In January 2021, Lovecraft Country Creator Misha Green Was Brought On To Write And Direct Tomb Raider 2

The Tomb Raider sequel took a major step forward in January 2021 when Misha Green, who not only wrote and directed Lovecraft Country but served as HBO horror drama’s showrunner in the second half of 2020, was hired to write and direct Tomb Raider 2, per Deadline. Not long after the news broke, Green took to Twitter to provide fans with a response that included a rather vague series of emojis after revealing her favorite games from the Tomb Raider franchise.

The reason behind the original writing-directing pair of Bean Wheatley and Amy Jump stepping away from the project was not revealed at the time of the announcement. How much of the original plan for Tomb Raider 2 remains in the current incarnation was also not revealed.

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

In May 2021, Misha Green Revealed Tomb Raider 2’s Working Title And An Update On The Script

The good news kept coming for Tomb Raider 2 in May 2021 when Misha Green took to Twitter once more to provide a quick yet significant update for the video game adaptation. In a tweet, Green announced that the first draft of the script had been finished along with a screenshot of its cover, revealing the working title: Tomb Raider: Obsidian. Green also said there was “still a long journey to production.”

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

In July 2021, Alicia Vikander Said Tomb Raider 2 Wasn’t Greenlit But She Wanted To Return

When promoting the release of The Green Knight, Alicia Vikander told Collider in July 2021 that although the new version of Tomb Raider 2 wasn’t officially greenlit, she wanted to return for a second go, stating:

Pre-COVID, I would’ve said yes. And now I think it’s a yes still. It’s not greenlit, but the script is in the making, and I think everyone is excited and I would love to revisit Lara again.

When asked about the movie’s script, Alicia Vikander revealed that while she had yet to read Misha Green’s first draft, she was “very excited” to check it out in the near future. Expect to hear more about the story and Green’s feature directorial debut in the coming weeks and months.

It is hard to say exactly when we’ll get to see Tomb Raider 2 in action, but maybe there’s a chance it ends up being included in the impressive list of highly anticipated 2022 new movie releases with a few other upcoming video game movies with a lot of potential.

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