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Netflix and Legendary Partner on New 'Tomb Raider', 'Skull Island' Series


Netflix is investing heavily in animation on multiple fronts. Not only is it taking on the big studios in feature animation, but they are also a big player in animated series, both for family and adult audiences. Lastly, there's the Netflix Anime armwhich has been finding success producing (or co-producing) not only genuine Japanese animation but also other original animation such as Castlevania, Seis Manos and Blood Of Zeus. Netflix seems to be attempting (with some success) to redefine anime to mean "animation from Japan plus genre animation from other countries." It seems that any non-comedy genre animation (action, horror, sci-fi etc) aimed at older audiences is being defined as anime. The latest series to be announced are two being produced alongside the studio Legendary.

First is an animated series based on the popular Tomb Raider franchise. The eponymous British adventurer Lara Croft first appeared in a series of video games starting in 1996, originally created by Core Design. Since then we've seen a successful rebooted game series starting from Crystal Dynamics in 2013, plus three live-action movies (with another in development), numerous spin-offs, mountains of merchandise and comics. But Lara has never before ventured into the world of animation.

The series will take place after the events of the reboot trilogy (the most recent of which was Shadow Of The Tomb Raider) and "will chart the globetrotting heroine’s latest, greatest adventure." The series will be produced by Legendary Television and Netflix in association with dj2 Entertainment. The latter is a production company founded to adapt video games into feature films and series, their first theatrical release being Sonic The Hedgehog.

Tomb Raider will be written and produced by Tasha Huo, and executive produced by  dj2 Entertainment Founder and CEO Dmitri M. Johnson,  Stephan Bugaj, Howard Bliss and Jacob Robinson under his company Tractor Pants. No other details are available about the creatives involved, so expect it to be some time before Ms Croft makes her animated debut. This announcement comes as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the franchise happening throughout 2021.

Legendary and Netflix are also teaming up to produce Skull Island, which will be part of Legendary's Monsterverse,  home to Godzilla and King Kong. The series will follow shipwrecked characters attempting to escape the titular island, that is full of prehistoric monsters, and most famously of all one massive monkey (yes, we know he's an ape really- no need to tell us) named Kong.

Skull Island will be produced by Powerhouse Animation (Castlevania, Blood Of Zeus) and will be written and produced by Brian Duffield (Underwater, The Babysitter) and executive produced by Jacob Robinson.

Legendary Television and Netflix have also partnered on the already announced series Pacific Rim: The Black.