The Tomb Raider video game property has made a comeback over the past few years, starting with the 2013 reboot of the action/adventure gaming franchise and continuing on with the 2015 release of Rise of the Tomb Raider, a fresh chapter in the ongoing tale of adventurer Lara Croft that by and large earned positive reviews (including one from us) and was a best-seller during the Christmas holiday season. Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM aims to cash in on the IP’s return to the spotlight with a Tomb Raider film reboot – one that currently has both a director and writer onboard, and may soon find its leading lady too.
It was reported recently that one of the top choices being considered by the Tomb Raider film reboot’s producers, as far as potential headliners go, is none other than Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens breakout, Daisy Ridley. We can now safely say that Ridley is, at the very least, in the running to star in the project, as she herself confirmed as much when she was interviewed by the press at the 2016 Empire Awards in London (where Force Awakens took home several big prizes).
Ridley, as reported by THR, told reports at the 2016 Empire Awards that there “have been conversations” about her playing Lara Croft on the big screen – following in the footsteps of Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie, who played Croft twice in the early 2000s (in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life). However, Ridley also emphasized that it’s still early days as far as her potential involvement with the new Tomb Raider film adaptation goes, as she’s neither been formally offered the role of Lara Croft nor yet seen the script being developed by the relative newcomer Geneva Robertson-Dworet (who also worked on the script for the upcoming Transformers 5).
Nevertheless, Ridley has made it clear that she’s interested in the opportunity to star in the Tomb Raider reboot, having said “I’m waiting for someone to say ‘I want you, let’s do it.'” Ridley’s Star Wars costar John Boyega, who was also in attendance at the 2016 Empire Awards, told THR he is likewise rooting for Ridley to land the role of Lara Croft:
“I played Tomb Raider the game, it’s a new take and I think the movies are going to be based on that version. But I texted Daisy [and] was like, ‘this is you!’ and ‘you need to get on that because you could be Lara Croft.’ She should be.”
One of the main concerns that have been raised about the possibility of Ridley starring in the Tomb Raider reboot is related to her schedule, seeing as she’s currently working on the in-production Star Wars: Episode VIII and may start work on Star Wars: Episode IX as early as 2017; not to mention, in-between those film shoots, Ridley has to set time aside to promote Episode VIII. Nevertheless, Ridley told THR that she’s fine with adding Tomb Raider to her docket, having said “Absolutely, I’m trying to fill up my calendar.” It’s quite plausible that she can manage to fit all that into her work slate too, bringing to mind how Jennifer Lawrence spent the past few years splitting her time between The Hunger Games and X-Men franchises (in addition to her David O. Russell collaborations) – and how Chris Pratt is currently making room in his schedule for both the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World/Park franchises, among other projects.
The other question, of course, is whether or not Ridley is the ideal choice to play Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider film reboot. Ridley, as demonstrated by her turn as Rey in The Force Awakens, reads as a solid match for the more recent video game iteration of Lara Croft: a young English archaeologist-turned adventurer who’s still getting the hang of her chosen lifestyle/profession. Tomb Raider reboot director Roar Uthaug (The Wave) has already confirmed that his film will be taking its cues from the recent Tomb Raider video games, though it’s certainly plausible that he and the movie’s producers will ultimately go with another candidate to play Miss Croft – maybe even a relatively older star than Ridley, at that – especially if scheduling does become an issue here.
All that being said: with the Tomb Raider reboot gearing up to begin filming this year, there’s a fair chance that Ridley will be available to star – should, in fact, the movie’s producers make her an offer. There’s also something fun about the idea of Ridley following in her Force Awakens costar Harrison Ford’s footsteps and getting to star in both the Star Wars franchise and a series about a globe-trotting adventurer (like how Ford has played Han Solo and Indiana Jones over the course of his career), so who knows – perhaps history will repeat itself, in this way. Not to mention, Ridley’s involvement with Tomb Raider would improve the odds that the reboot will be part of a video game movie renaissance that many are hoping begins this year, with films like Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed.
We’ll bring you more information on the Tomb Raider reboot as it becomes available.