In a rather shocking piece of news, it was recently confirmed that there would be no sequel to 2018's Tomb Raider movie with star Alicia Vikander. It wasn't just canceled because the studio didn't want to do it, it was because MGM lost the rights to the Tomb Raider series by dragging its feet on making a new entry in the series. In 2018, Tomb Raider was released and it loosely adapted the mature-rated 2013 reboot game. The film received mixed reviews, but cashed in a $274 million box office haul on a roughly $100 million budget, so it did well enough for MGM to move forward on a sequel. The sequel had a rather bumpy development with different writers and directors, but it all led to it being canceled.
A new report from The Wrap details how the film was canceled due to lapsed rights, claiming that it largely came down to MGM dragging its feet. The report noted how the studio had until May 1st, 2022 to start filming a sequel or lose the rights. This isn't an uncommon situation as in 1994, an unreleased and notoriously bad Fantastic Four film was made exclusively for the purpose of allowing the rights holders to keep the IP at that time. The untitled Tomb Raider sequel reportedly had a large production budget that caused delays and there were disagreements between Vikander and director/screenwriter Misha Green. According to a source, MGM moved with "no levels of urgency" and expected to start filming in 2023, despite the May 1st deadline. MGM also reportedly asked for more time from Square Enix, but the gaming publisher lost patience with the project. It's now believed that Netflix and Warner Bros. are amongst the key names interested in picking up the rights to the Tomb Raider films with Amazon expected to throw its hat in the ring as well.
Netflix is already working on an animated Tomb Raider series, which could make the film franchise feel right at home. A new Tomb Raider game is also in the works and rumors suggest it will feature Lara Croft in her prime following the reboot trilogy. As of right now, it's unclear when the game will release.