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Amazon Takes Aim at Marvel With Its Newest Venture

By Colette Bennett,


The company has a treasured new IP to play with.

Rewind time a few decades, and comic books were the sole domain of nerds with poor social skills -- or so that's what society said at the time.

Despite some memorable film adaptations in the '80s and '90s with big name stars like Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton, the comic book culture never fully shook off that vibe of being a thing that only geeky kids were into.

That is, until Walt Disney ( DIS ) - Get Free Report decided to buy the rights to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2009. After the unexpected success of "Iron Man" in 2008 (it grossed more than $585 million in the U.S. alone, raking in more than four times what it cost to make), Disney saw an opportunity worth taking.

That opportunity turned into what's now known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU for short. Encompassing 30 movies so far and with another 10 on the way, the franchise has earned more than $25 billion worldwide, making it the top-grossing franchise in history.

Naturally, this meteoric success has not only changed the "only for nerds" stigma of comic book adaptations but also made competing media brands consider how to imitate the formula to gain access to similar profit.

Now, Amazon ( AMZN ) - Get Free Report has decided to place its bets on a long-beloved video game series as its next possible media universe.

Amazon Wants Its Own MCU

Amazon has announced several projects are in the works based on "Tomb Raider," an Indiana Jones-esque video game franchise centered around a female archeologist that was originally released in 1996, per Hollywood Reporter .

"Tomb Raider" went on to become a successful series after its debut, spawning 20 video games and two films, including a 2001 film adaptation starring Angelina Jolie and a 2018 film starring Alicia Vikander.

Now Amazon has plans to turn the franchise into its very own DCU, with a movie, a TV show, and a new game on the way. Its partnered up with Dmitri M. Johnson’s dj2 Entertainment for the project, which sources told Hollywood Reporter was "being among the largest commitments at Amazon after Lord of the Rings."

Actress and screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge is working on the script for the upcoming TV series, while video game company Crystal Dynamics is in the early stages of development for the Amazon-exclusive game, which will mark Amazon's first single player narrative title and is easily the biggest game franchise its taken control of yet.

MGM, which has held the rights to the "Tomb Raider" franchise for the past nine years, lost them in May 2022 when it failed to greenlight a sequel to the 2018 film, leading to a bidding war for the IP .

Netflix is also at work on a "Tomb Raider" animated feature with the help of Legendary, the production company known for "Dune" and the "Enola Holmes" series.

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