Rise of the Tomb Raider, the latest Tomb Raider video game installment, has only just been released on Xbox systems (at the time of writing this). However, Lara Croft will soon be making her way back to the big screen, as MGM and Warner Bros. are busy putting together a reboot of the Tomb Raider movie series – a property that has remained dormant since the 2003 release, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (starring Angelina Jolie in the eponymous role).
Screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Osby (Iron Man), Marti Noxon (Fright Night), and most recently Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)) have all done script work on the Tomb Raider film reboot over the past five years or so, though there were never reports of a director being attached during that same time period. However, the project has now reportedly found not just a director, but a new writer too.
THR is reporting that Roar Uthaug is now lined up to call the shots on the Tomb Raider movie reboot, while Geneva Robertson-Dworet has entered negotiations to put together a fresh screenplay draft for the project. Uthaug, as it were, is a Norwegian filmmaker who has been making feature-length films in his native country for a decade or so now; that includes the non-U.S. action/thrillers Cold Prey, Escape, and most recently, The Wave. As such, Tomb Raider shall be the first time that Uthaug dips his toe into the pool of Hollywood tentpoles.
As for Robertson-Dworet: he’s a relative newcomer who made some waves when his original script, Hibernation, lands on the Hollywood Black List of Best Unproduced Scripts, leading Robertson-Dworet to land the job of co-scripting the forthcoming Transformers 5 for Paramount Pictures. Robertson-Dworet presumably landed the Tomb Raider writing job in part for his newfound experience working on studio tentpole fare, but also because he seemed up to the task of executing Uthaug’s studio-approved vision for Lara Croft’s next big screen adventure.
Tomb Raider video game series developer Crystal Dynamics has reportedly been working closely with the producers on the Tomb Raider movie reboot for years now, in order to ensure that this project aligns with the tone and style of the most recent Lara Croft-centered video games. Hence, Uthaug being hired as director makes more sense in that regard, as he’s known for crafting respectable genre fare – survival adventures/thrillers that have fantastical elements, but are nonetheless on the grittier side – that brings to mind the atmosphere and style of both Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
It’s disappointing that none of the previously-rumored Tomb Raider reboot directors – which included such higher-profile names as Kathryn Bigelow and Catherine Hardwicke – ended up landing the job; though, to be fair, they were also always long shots by comparison. Nevertheless, if Uthaug manages to deliver a quality Tomb Raider movie, then perhaps the project, in combination with such promising upcoming video game adaptations as Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed, can at long last break the video game movie “curse”.
We’ll bring you more information on the Tomb Raider movie reboot as it becomes available.