Of all the video game movies released to date, one of the biggest success stories (though that isn’t saying much) is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the 2001 film based on the classic gaming franchise and starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. The sequel was a financial flop, but with the video games given new life by a franchise reboot in 2013, MGM and Warner Bros. have a fresh movie adaptation of Tomb Raider in development with Roar Uthaug (The Wave) set to direct.
No one has yet been cast as the new Lara Croft (though fans have plenty of suggestions), so finding a strong leading lady is naturally going to be next on the agenda. For those unfamiliar with the games, Lara is an English archaeologist, born to aristocracy but drawn to adventure, whose approach to archaeology leans more towards the school of exploring dangerous ruins, shooting people, and solving ancient-yet-somehow-still-perfectly-functional puzzles, rather than kneeling in a dig site carefully dusting off pieces of pottery. She’s a women of daring and action – but who should play her this time around?
According to Deadline, the producers have one well-known name in consideration for the role of Lara Croft: Daisy Ridley, who recently made her debut as young protagonist Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ridley is reportedly “one of a number of actresses being considered,” and Deadline says that the producers are still keeping their options open. The report also states that Ridley isn’t officially in talks yet, but it sounds like she may have been approached: “Conversations have taken place, this is still very early and there have been no official negotiations or offer yet.”
Of course, casting someone who is already playing the lead in the biggest blockbuster franchise around, with commitments to at least two more Star Wars movies, would mean that Tomb Raider would have to work around Ridley’s busy schedule of filming and promoting Star Wars sequels. With that said, the series’ main installments are only being released every other year, which should leave a substantial amount of time for its stars to pursue other projects.
Uthaug has said that he’s been a fan of the Tomb Raider games ever since the first game was released in 1996, but has also indicated that he will draw on the recent reboot for inspiration. That reboot, and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, saw Lara’s sexuality toned down a little from previous iterations, and focused on her early days as an adventurer, when she was still learning the ropes and suffering through a lot of hardship along the way. It could be a powerful new franchise-leading role for Ridley – or whoever else ends up in the role.
We’ll keep you updated on Tomb Raider as development continues.