How the 'Tomb Raider' Movie Rights Slipped Away From MGM (Exclusive)

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, real-life husband and wife, are reuniting onscreen for the second time. The Oscar-winner (Vikander for “The Danish Girl”) and the Oscar-nominee (Fassbender for “12 Years A Slave”) will star in “Hope,” a mostly Korean-language feature from Na Hong-Jin.

The picture, about a mysterious delivery made on the outskirts of a remote harbor town, is the filmmaker’s first directorial effort since “The Wailing” earned rave reviews and $49 million worldwide in 2016 from a $6 million budget, with $48 million of that coming from South Korea.

“Oftentimes,” Hong-Jin noted, “a person’s goodwill can lead to unintended catastrophe simply because of differences in perspective. My hope for this film is to cinematically capture that phenomenon in a way that has yet to be seen.”

It is presumed that the “Tomb Raider” star and the “Assassin’s Creed” star will speak English in the film, and it will be their first onscreen duet since “The Light Between the Oceans” in late 2016.

The film will be lensed by Hong Kyng-pyo, who was also the cinematographer for “The Wailing,” “Parasite” and “Burning.” Korean producer-distributor Plus M Entertainment, owned by multiplex chain Megabox, is behind the project. Plus M is handling international sales while UTA Independent Film Group and Plus M will handle domestic distribution.

Plus M said: “Director Na’s new project “Hope” is not only a high-quality film but an enthusiastic project that has the potential to expand its IP to various content distribution channels. Above all, we’ve decided to invest in this project because we have the ultimate trust in director Na’s creative vision of him. Plus M will collaborate and support Hope to make it a global success.”

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Vikander has kept a comparatively low profile since starring as Lara Croft in MGM and Warner Bros.’ 2018 “Tomb Raider” reboot. A sequel was planned but died in development and the video game-based IP is now set for an Amazon television show.

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Since then, she has starred in Justin Chon’s “Blue Bayou” and Julie Taymor’s “The Glorias” (as Gloria Steinem) while popping up in small roles in “Beckett” (as John David Washington’s doomed girlfriend) and “The Green Knight.” She starred in Olivier Assayas’ well-received television incarnation of his own 1996 feature “Irma Vep.” She will next be seen in Karim Aïnouz’s “Firebrand.”

Fassbender has not been onscreen since “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” in the summer of 2019, but he will star in Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins” for Searchlight and David Fincher’s Netflix thriller “The Killer” later this year. He was pegged to star alongside Scarlett Johansson and Owen Wilson in Nancy Meyers’ “Paris Paramount” before Netflix canceled the pricey rom-com feature film. Whether he will star in whatever incarnation that film takes is a matter of speculation.

Deadline first reported this news.

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