'Tomb Raider' and 'Skull Island' Anime Series Ordered at Netflix
Tomb Raider and Kong: Skull Island are the next properties getting the anime treatment at Netflix. The streamer and Legendary Television have announced a Tomb Raider anime series, based on the Square Enix video game, and a Skull Island anime series, based on the Legendary monster, King Kong.
Netflix has ordered two new anime series in collaboration with Legendary TV. The first is Skull Island, which will hail from Powerhouse Animation — the anime studio behind hits like Castlevania and Blood of Zeus. Brian Duffield (Underwater) will write and executive produce the series. Jacob Robinson will also executive produce under his company Tractor Pants.
Described in the logline as a “new chapter in Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise,” Skull Island is “a thrilling animated adventure series that follows shipwrecked characters desperate to escape the most dangerous place on Earth—a mysterious island home to prehistoric monsters, including the greatest titan of them all, Kong.”
It’s unclear what time period Skull Island will take place in, or whether it will be before or after the events of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. But with the forthcoming release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this would be a sequel series bridging the gap between the ’70s-set Kong: Skull Island and the contemporary Godzilla vs. Kong. Though, considering the studio behind the upcoming anime series, Powerhouse, is more well-known for its period-set anime series like Blood of Zeus, perhaps we’ll go all the way back to Kong’s origins.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s second anime series is unrelated to the ongoing film series starring Alicia Vikander: the Tomb Raider anime series will be based on the popular Square Enix video game heroine, in her anime debut. Per the logline, the series picks up “after the events of the highly successful Tomb Raider video-game reboot trilogy, the animated series will chart the globetrotting heroine’s latest, greatest adventure. Twenty-five years after her first game appeared, Lara continues to explore new territory.”
The Tomb Raider anime will be written and executive produced by Tasha Huo (The Witcher: Blood Origin, Red Sonja). Other executive producers include dj2 Entertainment Founder and CEO Dmitri M. Johnson (Sonic the Hedgehog), as well as Stephan Bugaj and Howard Bliss, and the same Jacob Robinson that’s producing the Skull Island anime.
It’s kind of astonishing that Tomb Raider has not received an anime adaptation until now, as popular as the character has been since her introduction in the 1996 Sega Saturn video game Tomb Raider. The character would go on to star in the hugely popular video game franchise and two live-action movie series, the first starring Angelina Jolie, the most recent starring Alicia Vikander.
But regardless, it’s clear that Netflix is doubling down on the anime market, expanding on its anime titles based on well-known IPs. While that approach can feel a little creatively stymieing, at least Kong will have at least one anime series to hold up against Godzilla’s dozens on Netflix.
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