Hollywood has been trying to turn video games into the next big source of blockbuster adaptation success for a long time, but there have been few sustained successes: For every Resident Evil-level franchise there seem to be a dozen Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros.-style duds. A rare unqualified success in the genre were the Tomb Raider films, which arrived when the games were at the peak of their initial popularity and proved that Angelina Jolie could become a box office powerhouse in addition to an Oscar-winner previously best known for indies and edgy drama.
In a recent interview, the new Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander, is talking about what she hopes to bring now that she's taken over the iconic role.
Speaking to Hitfix regarding her upcoming role in the Matt Damon action thriller Jason Bourne, Vikander revealed where she and the new film will be drawing their inspiration from in reimagining Lara Croft for a new generation of movie audiences:
“They told me they were doing the film based on the reboot of the game from 2013 that is more of an origin story. You get into an emotional aspect of getting to know Lara hopefully in an in-depth way. So I hope that doing a film of the rebooted game will bring something new and fresh that’ll stand on its own two legs.”
The 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was a solid success in sales but earned some of the highest praise for audiences and best reviews from critics in the history of the franchise. Conceived as an origin for a new, more realistic incarnation of the character, it framed Lara as a college student and heiress to a family of globe-trotting adventurers who must put her survival skills to the test to rescue her best friend and crewmates after they're shipwrecked on an island controlled by a heavily armed cult and seemingly inhabited by an ancient evil force.
No indication has been made as to whether or not the new film will adapt the storyline of the game or merely borrow the "origin story" aspect for a new narrative. Along with a change in gameplay style and a new mythos for the franchsie, 2013's Tomb Raider was also praised for reinventing Lara as a stronger character with a focus on providing a new kind of hero for female gamers -- something which, according to Vikander, remains a focus for the new film and speaks to her experience with the franchise:
"I, with the rest of the world, was excited to see a female protagonist in a video game. I was a bit scared playing it when I was 12, 13. I had to go take little breaks."
Tomb Raider is expected to hit theaters on March 16, 2018.
- Tomb Raider (2018) release date: Mar 16, 2018