Ben Wheatley Takes The Helm On Vikander Tomb Raider Sequel

Credit Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Warner/MGM have bagged Ben Wheatley to direct the upcoming sequel to 2018’s Tomb Raider, Deadline announced yesterday.

Alice Vikander made her tomb raiding debut as Lara Croft in the 2018 film, based on Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s Tomb Raider reboot game of 2013. The Lara of the game and movie was a young girl in search of her father, tracing him as far as the mysterious island of Yamatai.

Over the course of the story the young explorer grows from inexperienced young heiress on a quest, to someone more approaching the kick-ass heroine of the original game series. By the end, she is armed with her trademark twin pistols and fired with a new mission to uncover the secrets of the dangerous Trinity Organisation.

In April MGM announced that Amy Jump (Free Fire, High Rise) was to write the second installment for Alice Vikander. Once Amy Jump was on board it was reasonable to think that MGM might set their sights on Jump’s husband and frequent working partner Ben Wheatley to take the director’s chair. The two are probably currently better known in the UK where their works have a large cult following.

When MGM announced Wheatley’s appointment, they also announced the release date for the movie will be March 19, 2021, with production due to begin early next year.

Given how closely the 2018 movie was based on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot game, it seems likely that this sequel will take at least some cues from the 2016 follow up, Rise Of The Tomb Raider. That game saw Lara up against the powerful and shadowy Trinity Organisation while searching for the lost city of Kitzeh in Siberia and its secret of immortality.

The 2018 movie was directed by Norwegian Roar Uthaug. Its budget of $94 million netted a worldwide return of $274 million, despite a fairly modest haul of just over $50 million in the US.

Carolyn Hucker