GK Films has been holding the rights to a cinematic Tomb Raider reboot for a couple years now and, at one point, even had Oscar-nominated screenwriters Mark Fergus and Haw Ostby - who collaborated on the scripts for Children of Men, Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens - working on an origin story that would take the form of an intriguing adventure/mystery and establish Lara Croft alongside such film heroines as Ellen Ripley (Alien) and Sarah Connor (Terminator) "in the pantheon of great female action heroes."
The movie reboot has shown new signs of life, following Square Ennix's relaunch of the Tomb Raider video game franchise, and is now back in active development thanks to MGM teaming with GK Films and picking up the distribution rights. So, now's as good a time as ever for actresses to start throwing their hats into the ring for consideration, when it comes to casting the new Miss Croft.
We've heard that GK Films is working closely alongside game developer Crystal Dynamics on the Tomb Raider reboot, which suggests the movie could carry-over material from its game counterpart. That approach includes showing Lara Croft as a 21-year old untrained and inexperienced scholar, whose adventure for survival - after she ends up ship-wrecked on an island full of savage cultists - shapes her into a fearless and hard-boiled warrior gal. However, there's wiggle room, in terms of matters like the age of the actress who plays the character onscreen.
Hayley Atwell, who reprises as Peggy Carter in next year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, has express her interest in playing Lara Croft by re-Tweeting the comments from supportive fans who are rooting for her to secure the role (you can see the collection over at CBM). People like Megan Fox (Ninja Turtles) and Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy) have been mentioned in the Lara Croft conversation before, but Atwell seems to be the first to publicly express interest in the role - and not be rumored it, just because she looks the part.
Interestingly, Angelina Jolie was younger than any of the aforementioned actresses when she headlined the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie "way" back in 2001; then again, if 30-year old Henry Cavill can portray young Superman in Man of Steel (or 43-year old Robert Downey Jr. was acceptable as Tony Stark in Iron Man), there is no reason that 31-year old Atwell cannot work as fresh-faced and naïve Miss Croft.
Similarly, Sigourney Weaver was around that age when she appeared in Alien, and so was Rachel Weisz in 1999, when she played the scholarly, but unpracticed in the field, Evelyn Carnahan in The Mummy, and the new Lara Croft looks to follow a similar path of evolution as those two screen heroines, in the Tomb Raider reboot.
That's to say: Atwell is a solid choice for the Lara Croft role, in part because we know she can play the battle-hardened type onscreen (after the first Captain America movie). Moreover, she doesn't have that sculpted look of someone like Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6), which could make it difficult for her to believably pass as someone without much/any fighting experience.
This doesn't mean Atwell is formally in the running for the role, but given that she has the support of fans - and seems to be legitimately interested - we could hear the actress' name pop up in the Tomb Raider discussion again in the future.
Would you like Hayley Atwell to play Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot? What other actresses should be considered for the role? Let us know in the comments!