×

Film News Roundup: Alicia Vikander’s ‘Tomb Raider’ Sequel Dated for 2021

In today’s film news roundup, MGM dates its “Tomb Raider” sequel, President Obama’s production company makes a hire, a “Rambo” marathon is unveiled, Andrew Matthew Welch gets a lead role and “After Midnight” finds a home.

RELEASE DATE

MGM is moving ahead with its “Tomb Raider” sequel, hiring Ben Wheatley to direct and setting a release date of March 19, 2021.

Alicia Vikander is on board to reprise her portrayal of action heroine Lara Croft. Graham King is producing through GK Films with Elizabeth Cantillon. Wheatley’s credits include “Kill List,” “Free Fire” and the upcoming “Rebecca” remake, to be distributed by Netflix.

Last year’s “Tomb Raider,” directed by Roar Uthaug and based on the 2013 video game, took in $275 million worldwide as Vikander’s character attempted to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance.

“Tomb Raider” is the first title to land on March 19, 2021. Wheatley is repped by WME, Independent Talent UK, and Ziffren Brittenham. News was first reported by Deadline.

EXECUTIVE HIRE

Higher Ground Productions, founded by former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, has hired HBO veteran Ada Chiaghana as vice president of development and production.

Chiaghana will report directly to co-heads Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan. She has worked on Issa Rae’s “Insecure” and “Silicon Valley.”

“Ada’s experience discovering and nurturing storytellers makes her a perfect fit for Higher Ground,” Davis and Swaminathan said. “We are dedicated to seeking out new voices and telling powerful stories that entertain and inspire. Ada’s intelligence, creativity and proven track record will make her an integral part of our team.”

Higher Ground has a distribution deal with Netflix, which recently released the company’s documentary “American Factory.”

RAMBO MARATHON

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will hold a five-film “Rambo” marathon event at 23 of its locations, starting on Sept. 19.
The marathon coincides with Lionsgate’s opening of “Rambo: Last Blood” on Sept. 20 — 37 years after the series launched with “First Blood.” The story centers on Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo crossing into Mexico and taking on a violent cartel when the daughter of one of his friends is kidnapped.
“Rambo: Last Blood” also stars Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Yvette Monreal. Adrian Goldberg is directing from a screenplay by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick.
The four “Rambo” films have grossed a combined $728 million in worldwide box office, led by 1982’s “Rambo: First Blood Part II” with $300 million. “Rambo III” followed in 1988 and  “Rambo”  in 2008.
“This marathon is for the ultimate Rambo fan,” says Alamo Drafthouse Programmer Cristina Cacioppo. “And there’ll be so much to see – the thoughtful drama of ‘First Blood,’ the action spectacle of the middle installments and finally, how it comes to an end in ‘Last Blood.'”

CASTING

Andrew Matthew Welch has been signed as the lead actor in the independent coming of age story “Soul Drift” for Slam Cities Films.
Directed by Michael Vincent, the story centers on a young man who grows up racing on rural Midwest roads, which eventually lead him to the high octane tracks of drift racing. The cast also includes Adam Aalderks (“Ballers”), Daniel Pinder (“Chicago PD”), Jacob Anderson, Meridith Gould and Jim Christensen.

Welch’s credits include “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” and “Ma.”

ACQUISITION

The dramatic thriller “After Midnight” (formerly titled “Something Else”) has been acquired by Cranked Up for North American distribution, and will be released in cinemas and on-demand during the first quarter of 2020.

“After Midnight” will be screened at the 2019 edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, with directors and cast in attendance.
Jeremy Gardner starred, co-directed with Christian Stella and wrote the script about a man whose sanity begins to crack when his long suffering girlfriend disappears suddenly, leaving a cryptic note as her only explanation. Then something terrible starts trying to break in every night.
The acquisition deal was negotiated by Good Deed Entertainment’s Brandon Hill with XYZ and CAA representing the filmmakers.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gina Rodriguez'Someone Great' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Gina Rodriguez Apologizes After Rapping N-Word in Deleted Instagram Video

    “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez has released an apology video shortly after she used the N-word while rapping along to a Fugees song in a video posted to her Instagram story. In the original video, which has since been deleted, Rodriguez raps along to “Ready or Not” while having her hair and makeup done. [...]

  • After a Revolution

    Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Winners Announced

    The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced on Tuesday this year’s recipients for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. Now in its 12th year, TFI and Gucci have awarded $140,000 in grant funding, covered by Gucci, to support nine documentaries highlighting domestic and international matters, with a focus on female-led stories and filmmakers. The funding will [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • Babyteeth Eliza Scanlen

    Eliza Scanlen Drama 'Babyteeth' Lands at IFC for North America (EXCLUSIVE)

    IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the drama “Babyteeth,” starring Eliza Scanlen, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn, and Toby Wallace, Variety has learned exclusively. The film had its world premiere in competition at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival, where Wallace won the Marcello Mastroianni award for best new young performer. It will be [...]

  • Neil Patrick Harris arrives at night

    'Matrix 4': Neil Patrick Harris Lands Role in Latest Installment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Neil Patrick Harris is the latest addition to the ensemble cast for the upcoming fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise. He joins Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who will be reprising their roles in the film, as well as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was tapped as one of the leads last week. Plot details are [...]

  • Amanda Seyfried attends a special screening

    Amanda Seyfried Joins Gary Oldman in David Fincher's 'Mank'

    Amanda Seyfried is set to join Netflix’s “Mank,” David Fincher’s latest biopic revolving around “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, with Gary Oldman tapped to play the titular role. Lily Collins, Charles Dance, Tuppence Middleton, Arliss Howard, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, Tom Burke, and Tom Pelphrey will also appear [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Accused of Groping 14 Women at Bars and Clubs

    Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Cuba Gooding, Jr., of a long-standing pattern of approaching unfamiliar women in bars and kissing, pinching, biting or groping them. Gooding appeared in court in Manhattan for an arraignment on four misdemeanor counts of forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty, and is due back in court [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content