MGM Taps Into 'Tomb Raider' With

King acquired rights in 2011

MGM is coming on board “Tomb Raider” with Graham King.

The Lion has acquired the film rights to the popular vidgame and will develop the feature in partnership with GK Films. No distributor was mentioned in the announcement, made Wednesday by King and MGM topper Gary Barber.

King acquired the “Tomb Raider” rights in 2011 from Square Enix and will serve as producer.

“Graham is one of the premier producers in this industry and I am delighted to be working with him on this exciting franchise,” Barber said. “We look forward to developing more projects together in the future.”

The original “Tomb Raider” was published in 1996 by London-based Eidos, which is now part of Square Enix. The games have sold over 35 million units; Square Enix released a reboot on March 5 with a younger Croft (now 21) being sent off on her first big adventure amid amped-up action and set pieces.

Paramount’s two films starring Angelina Jolie as the Brit archaeologist were released in 2001 and 2003 and grossed  $432 million worldwide.

Warner Bros., which owned 20% of Eidos, subsequently launched development of a Tomb Raider project with Dan Lin producing, but the feature rights went to Square Enix after it bought Eidos in 2009 for $120 million.

MGM’s next major movie going into production will be helmer Brett Ratner’s “Hercules,” starring Dwayne Johnson.  It’s teamed with Paramount on the pic, set to start lensing in May, which Par will release on July 25, 2014.

Most of the projects on MGM’s slate are remakes such as “RoboCop,” “Poltergeist” and “Carrie.” The studio is touting “Hercules” as its second original project since it emerged from bankruptcy in late 2011 in addition to the previously announced Vin Diesel starrer “The Machine,” which is scheduled to begin production later this year.

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