The Tomb Raider video game franchise has been in existence since 1996, and in the two decades since there have been many sequels and iterations of the adventure game series featuring heroine Lara Croft, as well as two major motion pictures starring Angelina Jolie. 2013 gave fans a very well-received reboot of the video game series, and now Hollywood is looking to revamp the film version of this franchise by going a similar route.
As previously announced, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft, with Roar Uthaug (The Wave) behind the director's chair. Given the newfound interest in further cinematic adventures featuring Lara Croft, it only makes sense for this new film to try and structure itself around the more grounded reboot of the video game series. Vikander recently had more to say about that and what it could mean for the character.
During an interview with Collider concerning her upcoming film The Light Between Oceans, Vikander spoke about the prospect of signing on to lead a big franchise and the plans for exploring Lara Croft's origins:
"With these big films... for me it’s really all about the filmmaker, and then of course the character and the story. I find that — big blockbuster movies, I grew up with, and... I think the thrill of being part of making one myself would be extraordinary. But it also comes down to, I met Roar and I’d seen The Wave and a few of his other Norwegian films and it’s with the kind of chance to make this story now, based on the rebooted game which is more of an origin story.
"You could intervene hopefully a great story and a great arc and then within that, have a very entertaining adventure film, which I loved growing up. And I played the game when I was a kid [laughs]. It was really the real first protagonist I had seen in a video game at that point. And of course Angelina Jolie made her into an icon. So it’s cool to try to step into the shoes and we’re hoping to make something that will hopefully will be fresh and new."
Many know how poor the track record with video game movies is, but it is promising to know there is good thought going into this upcoming reboot of the film series and solid talent attached. It's encouraging to see a studio putting a big budget behind an adventure film in the mold of something like Indiana Jones for a franchise with a female lead. The fact that a male-fronted video game series like Uncharted could have easily gone into production first instead seems to at least suggest one studio has more confidence in giving Lara Croft another shot on the big screen than others.
Of course, at the end of the day this is still a video game movie. It has been a rough go to say the least when it comes to generating excitement over the quality of films in this sub-genre, no matter what talent has been involved. 2016 has already seen a couple of attempts to break the curse, in the form of Warcraft and The Angry Birds Movie, and hope currently seems to lie with the upcoming Assassin's Creed, starring Vikander's Light Between Oceans co-star Michael Fassbender.
Perhaps audiences and critics will not only get a great Tomb Raider movie, but one that leads to a whole series of Lara Croft adventures that Vikander can be a part of. Time will tell, and surely fans will have to eventually get a video game movie that is truly great.
Tomb Raider will arrive in theaters on March 16, 2018.