Some disappointing news for fans of Tomb Raider, as the sequel to the 2018 big screen adaptation starring Alicia Vikander has now been delayed indefinitely. MGM Studios has announced a series of new release dates for various projects, and among them is the reveal that Tomb Raider 2, which was initially set to debut in March 19, 2021, will not be coming to theaters anytime soon.

Not much is yet known about the direction of the sequel, though rumors have begun to circulate that the story will combine elements from the video games Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Alicia Vikander is expected to return as Lara Croft, with director Ben Wheatley, whose previous credits include the likes of Kill List, Sightseers, and Netflix's recent adaptation of Rebecca, poised to take the helm.

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Amy Jump, who has collaborated with Wheatley on numerous projects, is writing the script for Tomb Raider 2 while Graham King is producing the movie under the GK Films banner.

"The plan was for us to start making one this year, of course due to the [pandemic] situation, that's now very different," Vikander said in a recent interview. "We're still in discussions about it, so I hope we can probably get to it next year."

Tomb Raider follows Vikander as Lara Croft, the fiercely courageous and independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination, a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn't be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown and unravel the truth.

Directed by Roar Uthaug with a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, the movie is based on the hugely popular Tomb Raider video game series and stars Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas appear in supporting roles alongside Alicia Vikander in the title role.

The movie reportedly barely broke even, amassing a total of $274.7 million at the box office. Tomb Raider also received a mixed response from critics, with many finding the plot to be too basic and by-the-numbers. Some however praised the movie for its gripping action sequences and gritty take on the material, with Vikander's performance being considered by some as "powerful" while others described her as being nothing more than a "punching bag and onlooker."

While her performance was divisive, Vikander has a lot of passion for the character. "I think it's a wonderful character that has been with us for like 22 years," the actress previously said of playing Lara Croft. "She's become a great role model and I love the fact that she's been able to take such a big place as a female character in the gaming world and in cinema. I think there's definitely room for this character to evolve, and it felt like it came out in '96, and I think it reflects a strong woman with the same kind of essence still as a smart, very curious, feisty, vulnerable woman. It's almost like she has changed due to how society has changed, she has become more a woman of now, of the time."

Vikander has several projects on the horizon including the drama Blue Bayou, the horror fantasy The Green Knight, and the thriller Born to Be Murdered. Ben Wheatley meanwhile was recently pegged to direct the upcoming sequel to the Jason Statham monster-movie The Meg. This comes to us courtesy of MGM Studios.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge